Indian Airlines, AI Express, slash fares for Gulf amnesty seekers

Indian national carriers Air India Express and Indian Airlines announced on 1 September that they had slashed one-way fares from Gulf countries to Indian destinations, so that illegal immigrants in those countries who had availed of recently announced amnesty schemes could safely return to their homes in India.

The announcement came during an ''open house'' organised at the Indian Embassy in Adliya, Manama, Bahrain. The new fares would be available only to those who take advantage of the general amnesty scheme and would end on 31 December, Indian Ambassador Balkrishna Shetty said.

The special fares are available only at the airlines'' booking offices, and would be from Bahrain to Mumbai, Cochin, Trivandrum, Calicut and Mangalore by Air India Express (AIE) while Indian Airlines (IA) would offer special fares to Calicut and Cochin, the two destinations it operates to.

The AIE (all inclusive) fare to Mumbai, Cochin and Trivandrum is BD59.800 (Rs6,452, $159) while its fare to Calicut is BD69.800 (Rs7,531, $185). The fare to Mangalore has been fixed at BD74.800 (Rs8,071, $198) . The IA fare to both Calicut and Cochin has been fixed at BD93 (Rs10,034, $247).