Indian PM orders Air India to resume Gulf flights

Gov't overturns national carrier's plan to cancel some of its flights.
NEWS, Aviation


The Indian government has overturned Air India’s decision to cancel some of its flights to the Gulf, it was reported on Wednesday.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directly intervened to reverse the Air Indian decision and assure cabinet members from Kerala that the airline would continue to operate flights to the Gulf, according to a report by Dubai-based Indian radio station Hit FM.

However, Air India has not yet been made aware of the government intervention, the airline’s regional manager for Gulf Abhay Pathak told Emirates 24/7.

“I am yet to be told of the decision to revoke the cancellation order. If it is true it will soon be communicated to us," Pathak told the website on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Air India Express announced that it would be canceling 75 flights from Kerala to the Gulf, including those to Muscat, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Air India was also set to cancel 203 flights to the region from India.

The airline blamed the decision on a lack of cabin crew to operate the flights. “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,” Pathak said.