Passengers travelling on the premium Railways train Rajdhani Express in AC-I and AC-II, may soon be able to fly on an Air India flight to reach their destinations, by paying the difference, if there is any.
Ashwani Lohani had planned this move in 2016 when he was the Chairman of Air India, but Railways had not reacted to the idea positively. Now, the Chairman of the Railway Board, Lohani has said that he will clear the plan if Air India (AI) puts it up again.
Reportedly, a large number of people end up with unconfirmed AC-I and AC-II Rajdhani tickets every day due to a severe demand-supply crunch in the railways. In a bid to boost AI’s aircraft occupancy, “turnaround man” Lohani had planned that these people’s contact details could be automatically shared with AI, which could then offer them seats on flights for the same destination on the same day at competitive rates.
A source from Air India said – “A benefit of having a government-owned airline… (is that) railways can transfer its unconfirmed premium passengers to state-owned AI. Lohani’s idea is very good.’’ With the proposal, Lohani, a 1980-batch Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers officer, has used his experience with Indian Railways to get rid of Air India’s most vexing problem, which is low aircraft occupancy.