Indian airline pledges women will never get middle seat over safety fears

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An Indian airline is offering solo female travellers “preferential seating” in a bid to boost safety after a spate of sexual assaults in recent years.

The complimentary “Woman Flyer” service is being offered by Delhi-based airline Vistara and promises to provide women “peace of mind”.

It means women will only ever be assigned a window or aisle seat at check-in.

The service was put in motion after noticing female travellers requesting assistance at the airport after they landed.

Female customers can also choose their seat during or even after booking their flight, as well as during the online check-in process. 

It comes as the Foreign Office urges women travelling alone to use public transport with caution following a spate of reported rapes and sexual assaults in India recent years.

In 2012, a 23-year-old woman travelling on a Delhi bus was gang-raped and murdered.

And earlier this month a woman who previously survived an alleged gang rape, was attacked with acid.

Vistara want to offer a safe environment for women on their travels.

The new complimentary service will also help female passengers at the baggage claim area and escort them to a taxi stand.

Sanjiv Kapoor, Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer, told Bloomberg: “Our staff is equipped to help women travelling alone.

“This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers.”

Vistara’s scheme for women isn’t the only measure put in place with the aim to help female travellers.

Earlier this year, Air India launched female-only seats on its domestic routes after a number of women were allegedly groped by male travellers during flights. 

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