Published on Monday, January 16, 2017

Airline launches women-only seating area to stamp out groping

Air India is to designate a row of seats for lone female travellers after reports of groping incidents on flights.

From January 18, the third row of six seats in economy will be reserved for women travelling alone.  

The move was sparked by two recent incidents. In one, a woman who said she was molested by a male passenger on a Mumbai-Newark flight on December 21.

Two weeks later a female flight attendant complained a passenger had 'touched her inappropriately'. 

A middle-aged man was arrested for the latter incident.

The airline told the Times of India: "In-flight misbehaviour is on the rise in recent times.

"Our pilots adopt zero tolerance for offences like sexual harassment, both of air hostesses or flyers, and hand over offenders to law enforcing agencies on landing."

It has been welcomed by some but criticised as being unworkable by others, including the Air Passengers Association of India.

The association's national president D. Sudhakara Reddy said: "It is an impractical move and will lead to gender discrimination."

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