Bhubaneswar: Sixty-year-old Prahalad Prusty, a retired Government servant from Kendrapara can now increase his frequency to fly as Air India has revised the age limit for senior citizens to avail discounts in air tickets.
Official sources said the age limit for senior citizens to avail discounted tickets has been revised from 63 years to 60 years for all domestic sectors. Besides encouraging more elderly people to travel, the move is likely to boost the tourism sector also.
“It was only from my daughter that I came to know about the new initiative and now I can increase my number of visits to my daughters with the senior citizen discount to fly,” said Prusty.
Not only Prusty, the new initiative is expected to benefit hundreds of air travellers across the country.
As per the revised rules, any senior citizen in the age group of 60 and above shall be entitled to a 50 per cent discounted ticket in economy class on the basic RBD (reservation booking designators) fare.
Benjamin Simon, advisor Tourism Department, Government of Odisha said the decision of the Air India is welcome as it will certainly boost the tourism potential.
''Air India was earlier a major player in the airline sector in the world. But due to several factors, it paved way for other private airlines. However, the fresh move is part of Air India strategy to review its operations,” said Simon.
Simon further said, at present the senior citizens constitute a major chunk of the air travellers from Odisha as well as other parts of the country owing to ‘availability of time’.
The discounts on air tickets will boost domestic as well as international travel from Odisha as it will prompt senior citizens to visit their children and grandchildren staying in the US, UK, Germany and other parts of the globe.
“At a high level meeting with Air India officials, the State had recommended for Bhubaneswar-Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar-Kolkata and Bhubaneswar-New Delhi connectivity which has also been agreed upon by AI authorities,” Simon added.