Aviation

Air India plans to introduce premium economy class

DELHI: Air India plans to introduce premium economy class seats on some of its flights in the aftermath of the incident involving Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad.

The Shiv Sena MP allegedly assaulted AI staffer because he had to travel economy despite being entitled to a business class seat.

Gaikwad had insisted on travelling business class on an all-economy flight, and later hit an airline staffer “25 times” with his slipper, triggering a row between him and Air India.

The MP was upset as he had to travel economy from Pune to Delhi to attend the Budget session of Parliament last month even though he had a business class ticket.

The proposal apparently aims to accommodate MPs who are entitled to travel business class but fly on routes where the airline operates only all-economy flights.

The national carrier is mulling reconfiguring as many as eight of its aircraft operating on various domestic routes in order to introduce “very limited” number of premium economy seats, an Air India official said.

Generally, premium economy seats are positioned between economy and business class seats, with a different fare and services structure.

About two years ago, Air India — which is working on ways to increase its market share — had mooted the idea of premium economy class but it was shelved due to commercial reasons.

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