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| 13 February, 2018

Air India mulls more routes from Abu Dhabi to India

The airline is also looking to introduce web check-in for Air India Express.

An Air India aircraft takes off as an IndiGo Airlines aircraft waits for clearance at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India, July 7, 2017.

An Air India aircraft takes off as an IndiGo Airlines aircraft waits for clearance at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India, July 7, 2017.

REUTERS/Amit Dave

UAE - Air India will soon have direct flights connecting the capital cities of the UAE and India, a top official has said.

Ranjan Kumar Datta, Air India manager for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain region, said the management of the airlines is mulling flights that connect Abu Dhabi with New Delhi and other Indian cities. "The relations between two countries are on an upswing. There has been a great desire expressed by everyone that Air India should restore its full operations from Abu Dhabi to New Delhi. We are only connected to Mumbai and looking forward to having a connection to New Delhi," Datta said.

"Our frequency here is not as high as we would like it to be and we are seriously looking at increasing the frequency. The amount of seats offered by other airlines are far ahead of us. However, our seat pitch is the best and unmatched by any airline in this region. Our lag of having a slightly older aircraft can be compensated with seat pitch and trained crew. We are also looking to introduce web check-in for Air India Express."

Air India, Datta added, faces stiff competition in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain sectors but are doing well and is making a lot of improvements. "We ensure that on right occasions, we have right capacity with reasonably comparable prices and providing comfortable travel for our passengers. We adjust seating capacity as per booking profile. We interchange aircraft as per requirement and help more passengers travel. Whenever requested, our head office have granted it in no time."

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Datta noted seat adjustments are not possible in Air India Express as it has got different fleet of operation with just two versions.

He also said that issues with punctuality are things of the past. "We have been maintaining on-time performance. There might be 10-30 minute delay due to push back slots and such delays are covered up in a 4-5 hour travel time."

To woo passengers from other airlines, Datta said there is a top offer in the pipeline. "Our business class will soon have affordable price tags. People who have avoided business class due to high rates will be able to travel in it. We will soon have this offer in New Delhi sector too.

"All other operators here are big; but that does not make Air India small. I request every Indian national to support our operation."

 

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