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New Delhi, October 23: Passengers with unconfirmed AC-I or AC-II tickets for Rajdhani Express need not worry much about reaching their destination. They may soon be able to fly to their destination instead by paying the difference, if any, in the price of the train and air tickets. The move was planned by Ashwani Lohani when he was Air India chairman, but the railways did not give any positive response.
As he is now the chairman of the Railway Board, Lohani said that he will clear the plan if Air India puts it up again. “If AI approaches us with this proposal, we will accept it,” Lohani told Times of India.
In a bid to boost Air India’s aircraft occupancy, Lohani had planned that contact details of people with unconfirmed AC-II Rajdhani tickets could be shared with the airlines which could in turn offer them seats on flights for the destination. “AC-II Rajdhani fares are more or less similar to air fares,” Lohani said.
But as the process to privatise or sell government-owned AI is in its final stages, it is to be seen whether airline approves such a proposal. “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. But can railways do the same with a private AI or any other private airline without facing charges of benefitting them?” asked an Air India insider.
Senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal, who was given additional charge as AI chairman for three months in August-end, said he would not be immediately able to comment on the proposal. “This is the first time I am hearing of such a thing. There is difference in train and air fares…” he said.