x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Gulf passengers angered by Air India scheduling changes

All Air India Express flights on the Sharjah to Thiruvananthapuram route have been cancelled from September 17 until October 10, agents say. 

DUBAI // Hundreds of passengers in the south of Indian have been forced to cancel or reschedule flights to the Gulf region after Air India Express reportedly rerouted its regular flights.

Air India Express, India's low cost national carrier, operates about 110 flights weekly to countries in the Gulf region.

The carrier could not be reached to confirm the exact number of flights cancelled, but travel agents and passengers said all Air India Express flights on the Sharjah to Thiruvananthapuram route had been cancelled from September 17 until October 10.

"It is a terrible inconvenience for my wife because I don't know when she will actually arrive here," said G. Vijayan, who works in a Dubai advertising agency.

"We are all very fed up because we booked the tickets in advance this month and Air India has just cancelled it at short notice."

His wife was scheduled to return from Thiruvananthapuram on October 1. She has been offered an Air India Express flight to Dubai three days later.

"The airline just told her that many flights were being diverted for Haj passengers so some Gulf flights were affected. Why can they not plan ahead?"

Mr Vijayan said he had still not received a refund for two tickets to India that were cancelled earlier this year due to a pilot strike.

The 58-day strike by pilots of the low-cost Indian government carrier ended in July.

 

rtalwar@thenational.ae