Air India has started giving priority boarding to soldiers as a mark of respect for them from this Independence Day.
Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani said announcements will be made at boarding gates, inviting security forces personnel to board aircraft first.
“They will be requested to board before first and business class passengers,” Lohani said. AI took this decision on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day and implemented it from Tuesday itself.
The carrier already gives discounted air fares to the armed forces personnel on its domestic sectors. A senior AI pilot, who flies long-haul routes, said Indian airports should also emulate the move and open the doors of their VIP lounges for the soldiers. “At many American airports, announcements are made inviting soldiers to the lounges”
“Indian airport VIP lounges are full of politicians. They should emulate what happens in the US and invite our soldiers to the lounges,” the pilot said, welcoming AI’s move.
AI pilots often make in-flight announcements welcoming soldiers on board when they know about their presence on board.
It is an honour to fly the soldiers,” said Air India pilot.