Air India Reinstates Discount on Repatriation of Bodies from UAE
The move to cancel the 50 percent discount was scrapped following protests from the Indian community, including social workers and Indian-origin residents living in the UAE.
Air India has reinstated its discount on cargo fare for repatriation of dead bodies for Indians from Sept. 30. The airline revoked its recent decision to cancel the discount following protests by Indians.
Earlier this month, Air India had announced cancellation of the 50 percent discount given for transportation of bodies of Indians who died in the United Arab Emirates. The airline had also decided to stop transporting bodies for free for distressed and low-income Indian families.
The decision, which resulted in doubling of the cargo fares for sending mortal remains to India, has been withdrawn Gulf News reported.
The move was scrapped following protests from the Indian community, including social workers and Indian-origin residents living in the UAE.
“We are going to maintain the status quo,” a senior official was quoted as saying by the publication.
The Indian embassy has been notified about Air India’s decision, Vipul, India’s Consul General in Dubai, said.
“We have been informed by Air India that they will continue to offer the 50 per cent discount in the case of repatriation of mortal remains of [all] Indian expats and the free of cost service when the consulate recommends it,” he said. “We are happy about the decision as several people from the community had raised concerns about this move. We are happy that Air India addressed it quickly.”
Members of the Indian community had reached out to India’s Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh on Sept. 29, a day before Air India’s decision, the report added. Singh had ensured them that the issue would be taken up with the Civil Aviation Ministry.
The decision has been welcomed by the Indian-origin residents of the UAE.
“The lack of discount in the service would’ve been very detrimental for all families, especially that of workers. We welcome the airlines’ decision to retract the decision,” Roop Sidhu, the general secretary of the Indian Association in Ajman, who has handled several cases of death of Indian workers in Ajman and other places, told the Khaleej Times.
“Air India is the go-to airline for most Indian expatriates. It is a brand and name that we trust. If people feel like they cannot afford the costs levied by the national carrier, there would be many delays in the processes. This decision has helped all Indians in the UAE,” another social worker, Naseer Vatanapally, was quoted as saying by the publication.