Air India has announced that it will reserve a row of six seats on every domestic flight exclusively for female passengers who are travelling alone.
In an report published by The Hindu on January 11, Air India’s general manager for revenue management Meenakshi Malik announced, “We will be reserving the third row — six seats — in the economy class of the aircraft for female passengers travelling alone.”
Seats in the female-only section can be reserved — free of additional charge — for flights beginning on January 18, the Press Trust of India reported.
According to PTI, the female-only section will be available on board the airline’s fleet of narrow-body Airbus A320 jets for flights within India. In addition, Air India clarified to PTI that female passengers travelling with their family would not be entitled to use these seats.
Air India’s corporate communications team was not immediately available for comment, however Business Insider did call the company’s customer service line who was able to confirm the existence of the female-only section.
Air India’s announcement is an apparent reaction to several high profile groping incidents on board the airline’s flights.
On December 21, a female passenger reported being groped on board an Air India flight from Mumbai to Newark, New Jersey. On January 3, an Air India flight attendant on a flight from Muscat, Oman to Delhi was reportedly touched inappropriately as well as verbally assaulted by a male passenger.
“We feel, as national carriers, it is our responsibility to enhance comfort level to female passengers,” Malik added. “There are a lot of female passengers who travel alone with us and we will be blocking a few seats for them.”
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