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No proposal to reserve Air India seats for last minute fliers:

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

There is no proposal by the national carrier Air India to reserve adequate number of seats at an affordable fares for the last minute customers flying in some emergency situations, Government said today.

However, the carrier offers 50 per cent discount on normal economy class fares for a domestic travel to students travelling to their home towns from the city where they study in, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma told Rajya Sabha today.

"Seats are highly perishable commodities and lapses as soon as aircraft has departed. Hence no such policy for reserving seat for last minute bookings can be adopted as it would lead to revenue loss and seat spoilage, which Air India being a commercial entity cannot forego," the Minister said in response to a question.

Sharma said that as part of the social obligation of the domestic carriers, under the Route Dispersal Guidelines (RDGs), all Indian carriers have to deploy at least 10 per cent of their capacity on remote routes, termed Category II routes.

The operators are also required to deploy at least 50 per cent in category III (small cities) of the capacity deployed in category -I route, he said, adding, this promotes regional and remote area connectivity.

The Minister also said that at times of natural calamities airlines have stepped forward and provided assistance in the form of evacuation of stranded persons and transport of relief material to the affected persons/areas.

Recently Air India conducted operations to evacuate Indian nationals from Yemen, he said.

First Published: Thu, July 30 2015. 19:22 IST