Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Air India Express cancels frequencies of flights to gulf

Air India Express' decision to curtail a number of flights on several routes, including the Gulf, was based on operational reasons and the frequency drop would be only 8 to 10 per cent, a senior AI official here said.

The cancellation of certain frequencies to the Gulf sector was done to rightsize the airline's due to commercial and operational reasons, Abhay Pathak, Air India's regional manager-Gulf, said.

Services to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat and Kuwait have been affected by the decision. However, most of the cancellations are after the peak season beginning from September 20 to October 30.

"This is a response to the commercial demand and we have a back-up plan in place. Moreover we will be re-serving those frequencies in the future," Pathak said.

He said as the cabin crew are not supposed to exceed 1,000 hours of flying in a year, such a rescheduling becomes necessary.

Pathak also claimed that the changes in flight schedules will not affect the passengers as arrangements have been made to ensure "convenience".

"We will operate bigger aircraft if needed as this is also about consolidation of capacity," he said.

As a result of the curtailment, flights from Sharjah to Calicut and Thiruvananthapuram have been reduced from four to two while on the Cochin sector the daily Air India Express flight remains in operation as an alternative.

Air India Express operating from Dubai to Thiruvananthapuram will now operate six days a week and not daily.

Flights to Lucknow have also been reduced to three days a week from the normal four days and the Amritsar flight will operate six days a week.

The affected passengers are being called and informed of the cancellations and alternative rebooking or refund is being offered.

Source: Times of India

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