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Air India to deploy wide-bodied aircraft on domestic routes

New Delhi. National carrier Air India Monday said it would deploy wide-bodied aircraft between the metros to offer increased seats and reduced fares to make up for the crippling effects of a 10-day strike it has just come out of.

“Our plan is to increase the ticket sales revenue and make up for the lost time we had to endure during the peak summer travel season,” a senior Air India official with the operations arm told IANS.

According to the official, the airline would be able to offer lower fares on the domestic sector as it was going to deploy wide-bodied aircraft like the Boeing 747, thus increasing the seat capacity per flight.

“Our large-bodied aircraft would be deployed on some metro routes that should allow us to offer greater seat capacity and lower fares this season,” he said.

According to some aviation experts, the lower fares would not have any adverse effect on private airlines, as competitive fares were already being offered to passengers.

“It is capacity induction that should have been there from the beginning, but due to the strike was lost out. Demand is still high and everyone will get a share out of it,” Ankur Bhatia, executive director of the Bird Group, a technology provider to the travel industry, told IANS.

On Monday, the airline said that it was operating nearly 180 domestic flights and that the number would eventually reach the designated daily schedule of 225.

“We are operating 180 flights today on our domestic routes, while on an average day our flight schedule is 225 flight per day,” the Air India official added.

The airline on Sunday published advertisements in various national dallies thanking passengers for bearing with the carrier during the strike and notifying them of newer air fares on offer.

The just-ended 10-day strike had caused the airline to cancel some 1,600 domestic flights, causing a revenue loss of Rs.140 crore.

(IANS)