Independence Day celebration: Air India offers discounted flights from Gulf cities to subcontinent

DUBAI: Air India is offering discounted one-way flight fares for passengers departing from its Gulf routes to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day on Aug. 15.

The promotional tickets can be bought from Aug. 8 until Aug. 21 and are valid for travel until Oct. 15 this year. Although there are limited seats for the promotion, travelers nonetheless are still allowed 35 kilograms of check-in baggage and eight kilos of hand luggage.

Travelers coming from Saudi Arabia’s major cities – Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah – destined for the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad can take advantage of the one-way direct flights for only $133.33 (500 riyals). A quick check on the airline’s website indicates the normal pricing for a one-way flight from Jeddah to Delhi tops over a thousand riyals.

Air India, which was taken over by Tata Group in January after winning the bid for the airline late last year, has about 81,000 seats per week in its Gulf operations including that of its budget segment via Air India Express.

For passengers departing from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE, and bound for Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kozhikode, Cochin, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Air India has pegged the one-way promotional fare at $89.86 (330 dirhams).

Passengers from Kuwait to Chennai and Mumbai meanwhile can purchase their tickets at $119.44 (36.65 Kuwaiti dinars); those flying from Doha to Delhi can have their flight tickets for $137 (499 Qatari riyals); Delhi-bound passengers from Bahrain can avail the cheaper seats at $160 (60.3 Bahraini dinars) while those flying from Muscat to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kannur can avail of the $93.89 (36.1 Omani riyals) flight tickets.

Passengers out of Muscat to Delhi and Chennai pay $169.3 (65.1 Omani riyals) for their discounted tickets.

Air India, which held around 17 percent of India’s international airlines market in 2021, is aiming to regain lost ground and is planning to add 200 more aircraft to its current fleet of about 128 planes.

The Gulf market, where a large population of non-resident Indians work and live, is dominated by international airlines like Emirates, one of two flag carriers of the UAE.

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