CPI-M youth activists vandalise Air India’s Kozhikode office

Monday, September 6, 2010

KOZHIKODE - Activists of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) youth wing ransacked the Air India office here to protest the cancellation of over 200 Air India Express flights from the three airports in the state.

The protesters barged into the office here and smashed the furniture, causing panic among the staff on duty.

Air India had cancelled a total of 203 flights - 73 from Kozhikode, 74 from Thiruvananthapuram and 56 from Kochi - from this Monday till October end, citing cabin crew shortage. The destinations of the cancelled flights include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat and Kuwait.

Meanwhile in Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala Association of Travel Agents accused Air India of playing into the hands of numerous private airlines who will make merry following this huge cancellation.

KATA president K.V. Muraleedharan told IANS that this sort of cancellation is unheard of in aviation history.

“This is going to be a gold mine for the private airlines in the country and for other national carriers because this is the peak season. Close to 25,000 people are left stranded. Now the other airlines will soon jack up their fares because people are running from pillar to post to get a ticket for their return journey,” he said.

Meanwhile, ever since the announcement of the cancellations, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala have raised the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel requesting them to make suitable arrangements to address the situation.

“Air India can easily come to save this unpleasant atmosphere by operating their jumbo jet services which can carry close to 400 passengers. This is the need of the hour because the service done by these non-resident Keralites are huge as they contribute precious foreign exchange through their remittances,” Muraleedharan said.

–Indo Asian News Service

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