Air India, true to its reputation, spread its wings to stand with the people stranded in the devastating flood wreaking havoc in Kerala. From the moment, operations were suspended at the Cochin airport, Air India along with its subsidiary Air India Express swung into action and took the lead in announcing steps taken to help affected passengers through waiver of applicable penalties on re-issuance, date change, no-show, cancellation and refund charges for travel from/to Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram for both Domestic and International flights, on confirmed tickets issued on or before 14th August 2018.
Regular updates of other relief measures were uploaded round the clock through the official social media platform and through the call centres of Air India and Air India Express. Most Air India and Air India Express flights operating from Kochi Airport to destinations to the Gulf, like Dubai and to other stations like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai etc, were rescheduled to operate from Thiruvananthapuram.
As an exemplary initiative to fly out stranded people, AI’s subsidiary Alliance Air operated a non-commercial “proving flight” on an ATR (turboprop) to Kochi’s naval base with a team of DGCA, AAI and Flight Safety officials. Flight 9I 105 landed at Kochi at 1240 hrs from Bangalore and the return flt 9I106 took off from Kochi at 1345 hrs. This whole exercise is aimed at confirming the feasibility of having Alliance Air operate more flights to Cochin’s defence airbase with turboprops to evacuate passengers.
Whether its the tsunami in port blair, earthquake in kathmandu, floods in kerala or chennai, landslides in the hills or during any natural calamity or strife, Air India invariably acts as the Nation’s second line of defence going beyond any call of duty or commercial interest.