Vistara's new service ensures no middle seat, safety of solo female flyers

This service finds significance as India ranks fifth among 10 most dangerous countries for women travelers.

Mumbai: In an effort to ensure the safety and comfort of female flyers, Vistara has launched its Woman Flyer Service that helps women flying solo with their bags, ensures safe ground transportation and gives them window or aisle seats, ruling out the uncomfortable middle seats.

With this move, Vistara has become the first airline to offer such a service, significant especially in the kind of unsafe time women live in today. This complimentary service is availed by 75 to 100 women on a regular basis every day, said a Bloomberg report.

According to the report, Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer, Sanjiv Kaoor said "Our staff is equipped to help women travelling alone with the booking of airport-authorized taxis, as well as escort them to the airport taxi stand upon their request”. He said this that this service is Vistara’s effort to “effort to ensure peace of mind” of its female customers.

Although India is likely to become the world’s sixth-largest business travel market by 2019, many countries like the US, U.K and Australia caution their women passengers from travelling solo in Indian public transport. They cite “eve teasing”, safety and harassment as major concerns.

According to Marta Turnbull, editor of the International Women’s Travel Center, the threat to women’s safety in tourism in India stems from cultural issues and gender inequality. The center also ranks India as the fifth among the 10 most dangerous countries for women travelers. "We did find there is a correlation between what happens to local women and women travelers," said Turnbull to Bloomberg.

In the wake of such concerns, Vistara’s initiative is a step towards reassuring women’s safety. The airline is likely to extend this service to international flights.

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