From operating all-women crew flights to giving away fascinating goodies, Indian airlines have decided to mark International Women's Day in their own unique way. At the forefront is the national carrier Air India which will operate 12 international flights and over 40 domestic flights with all-women crew.
Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said: "I would like to congratulate our women crew deciding to operate so many flights on various international and domestic routes fuelled by their indomitable women power."
The international flights that will have all-women AI crew include those from New Delhi to Sydney, Rome, London, Paris, Shanghai, Newark, Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco, and from Mumbai to London, Newark and New York.
Following the footsteps of its parent, Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India, will also take to the skies in one of its aircrafts with an all-women crew. An all-women crew flight will take off from New Delhi to Dharamsala and fly back to the national capital under the captainship of Ashna Acharya and co-pilot Kanika Sharma, Alliance Air said in a statement. There will also be cultural programmes at the airline's office, celebrating the various colours of the culture represented by Alliance Air women employees, it said.
Private carrier Jet Airways plans to operate four domestic flights--- Mumbai-New Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai- Bengaluru-Mumbai--- with an all-women crew. Besides the crew, the other functions involved in operating a flight such as engineering, ground handling and ground services, the security would all have the fairer sex exclusively managing the show, the Jet said. The airline will also surprise select women guests on-board these flights by presenting them with gift hampers, where each goody bag will contain gifts from top-notch brands, it said.
As part of its special in-flight fund raising drive, Jet Airways is supporting the work of two leading NGOs working on women's issues. The airline will contribute the benefits of these in-flight collection proceeds to an NGO which aims to empower the underprivileged women and girls through education, technical skills and employment generation.
No-frills carrier Spicejet will be operating 22 flights with all-women crew to mark the day.
Women flyers will also be offered 'priority check-in' and 'priority boarding' besides a welcome rose while boarding, it said, adding depending on the availability they will also be offered an upgrade to a Spicemax seat.
Another budget carrier GoAir said all women travellers will be eligible for a complimentary upgrade to its business class across its network depending on "availability as well as on first-come-first serve basis".
(With PTI inputs)