No middle seats for women, says Indian airline

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A NEW Delhi-based airline is giving lone female travelers the option to not be seated on middle seats during domestic flights amid rising concerns of sexual harassment and assault cases against women in India.

Vistara launched its Woman Flyer complimentary service recently, giving the travelers priority for window and aisle seats instead, Bloomberg reported.

The service also offers lone women travelers assistance with their bags and escorts them to and from their ground transportation.

The airline, which is believed to be the first airline to offer such a service, says between 75 and 100 women take up the offer each day.

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Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer Sanjiv Kapoor was quoted as saying the idea behind the service was hatched after noticing women seeking help with their bags upon landing.

“Our staff is equipped to help women traveling alone with the booking of airport-authorized taxis, as well as escort them to the airport taxi stand upon their request,” Kapoor said.

“This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers.”

The rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi in 2012 followed by two attacks on foreign female travelers have altered how tourists view India and led to a sharp fall in the numbers of foreign tourists, especially women, according to a study in 2013.

SEE ALSO: Air India introduces women-only seats amid sexual harassment reports

Despite this, India is projected by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) to become the world’s sixth-largest business travel market by 2019.

Meanwhile, Vistara said it was looking to expand the service, offering it to women on international flights once it expands outside of India.