Air India awaits order revoking cancellations

With just two days to go for the earlier plan, airline still in dark over new move

A senior Air India official in Dubai on Thursday said he is yet to receive any notification on revoking the earlier plan of cancelling several of the airline's flights to the Gulf region.

Air India had announced its decision on Saturday to cancel 203 flights, mostly operating from India to the Gulf.

However, on Tuesday reports quoting Arvind Jadhav, Air India CMD said the order to reschedule and cancel almost 203 flights would be revoked following intervention from Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

Speaking to Emirates 24|7 earlier on Thursday Air India's Regional Manager for Gulf Abhay Pathak on Thursday said: “We are yet to receive any notification about the new decision.”

“We should understand that these decisions are taken keeping in mind various factors including the upcoming low season,” he added.

Air India had blamed the decision on a shortage of cabin crew.

"There is a rule that cabin crew should not exceed more than 1,000 hours of flying in a year. There is no way we will be able to meet this target unless we cancel some of the services," said Pathak had said on Monday evening.

Meanwhile travel agents also confirmed that the busy season would end soon after the Eid holidays. “Most Air India and Air India Express flights from Kerala to Sharjah and Dubai continue to have empty seats. The demand during the periods is usually low,” said an official from Majan Travels in Dubai,

one of the biggest agents of Air India and Air India Express. Another official from Maheshwari travels also said, “The demand would continue to remain low until Christmas.”

Almost 75 flights from Kerala to the region was set to be cancelled from next week.

They include daily flights to Sharjah from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode airports from September 20 and three flights per week to Muscat from September 13.

The Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai and Thiruvananthapuram-Abu Dhabi daily flights stands cancelled from September 20.

Following massive uproar in Kerala it was reported that the Government of India had decided to revoke Air India's decision to cancel some of its flights operating from the Gulf.

Reports had quoted Jadhav as saying that India's Prime Minister himself intervened and assured his cabinet colleagues from Kerala that the decision to cancel flights to the Gulf, especially to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be reversed.


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