Air-India traffic climbs 27pc

Vaz ... no impact.

India's national carrier, Air-India, says its passenger traffic between Bahrain and India rose 27 per cent in September this year over the same period last year.

The airline's country manager in Bahrain, Freddie Vaz, said the carrier had suffered no adverse impact on the Bahrain-India route following the terror attacks in the United States and the subsequent plunge in air traffic globally.

He also said that Air-India is recognised as one of the safest airlines thanks to its stringent security procedures evolved over the years.

"When circumstances warrant, the already existing high level of security is further enhanced all over the world," he said.

He said Air-India also has a worldwide on-time performance of more than 90 per cent - well above average international norms. From Bahrain, the airline's on-time performance was an outstanding 98 per cent.

The airline offers a range of benefits and options to the thousands of expatriate Indians based in Bahrain and elsewhere in the Gulf.

From Bahrain, Air-India is the only airline that operates to all three international airports in Kerala - Kochi, Calicut and Trivandrum, providing passengers with the flexibility of travelling to one point and returning from another point.

It is also the only airline in Bahrain offering complimentary hotel stays to passengers transiting Mumbai (Bombay) to other destinations (whether their onward journey is on Air-India or other carriers) and convenient Air-India connections to several major cities in India through its own terminal at Mumbai airport.

It also offers a "from ticketing to touch down" service for unaccompanied minors, a baggage allowance of 40kg for economy class passengers and 50kg for Executive class, free pick-up for unaccompanied baggage from anywhere in Bahrain to any destination.

Air-India Executive class passengers can choose their own menu through its website and can avail of a complimentary limousine service in Mumbai.

Vaz said Bahrain's restricted market size did not make it economically viable for the airline to introduce direct services to new destinations in India.

Besides its various internal convenient connections, Air- India also has a number of code-share agreements with various airlines operating to other parts of the world.

The airline operates a joint frequent flyer programme with Indian Airlines and Alliance Air, whereby members can earn free tickets to over 200 destinations.

One of the oldest airlines in the world, Air-India was founded in 1932 and today offers a network of more than 40 offices all over India with a full range of airline services/facilities.

In Kerala alone, Air-India has full-fledged offices in Kannur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thiruvalla, Thiruvananthapuram and Trissur. It is totally self-sufficient in all aspects of airline operations and today operates a fleet of 23 Boeings and Airbuses.