Air India’s salute to military on Independence Day, servicemen will board first

To honour servicemen, India’s flag carrier Air India will now invite members of the country’s armed forces to board its flights first.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2017 09:33 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Air India,Armed forces,Army
Members of India‘s armed forces will now to get to board flights of Air India ahead of other passengers.(Reuters)

Air India has ushered in a new era for military fliers beginning this Independence Day. As a mark of gratitude for the services of soldiers, the state-owned carrier has declared that they will be invited to board its flights ahead of all other travellers.

“It has been decided that in order to show gratitude towards members of the Armed Forces, serving members of the Armed Forces from Army, Air Force and Navy would be invited to board our flights first,” Air India executive director Sarabjot Singh Uberoi wrote in an e-mail to top officials on Monday. Uberoi wrote that the order has to be implemented Independence Day onwards on all Air India flights.

“Serving soldiers will be invited to board all Air India flights even before First Class and Business class travellers. The country is grateful to them for their services and this is our way of honouring the soldiers for their contribution,” Uberoi told Hindustan Times.

Uberoi’s mail spells out how pre boarding announcements are to be made from Tuesday. “Air India Star Alliance flight ___to ___is now ready for boarding through Gate No.___. We would like to invite serving members of our esteemed Armed Forces from Army, Air Force and Navy to board first.”

Read more: After regular fliers exploit scheme, AI stops online booking facility for defence personnel

Air India has passed on the instructions to all its ground handling officers and staff at boarding gates and asked “the same to be monitored for strict compliance.”

The move comes days after Air India stopped the provision of giving online concession to soldiers, making it mandatory for them to visit the booking office. “Effective 01 Aug ‘17, these tickets (concessionary fare) will be issued only at Air India City Offices, in cities where there is no city office, the tickets will be issued from Airport Ticketing Offices,” the national carrier said, drawing flak in some military circles. It was said to be done to prevent misuse of the facility by unscrupulous travel agents.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 08:38 IST