Air India, the country’s state-run carrier, will soon be reserving six of its seats specifically for female passengers.
The move, which is being hailed as a first for airlines, aims to provide safety to female passengers who may be traveling alone.
“We will be reserving the third row—six seats—in the economy class of the aircraft for female passengers traveling alone,” Meenakshi Malik of Air India said in an interview with The Hindu. “We feel, as national carriers, it is our responsibility to enhance comfort level to female passengers,” Malik said.
According to the airline, women will not be charged additional fees for these seats.
The decision comes after a recent incident where a female passenger who had fallen asleep on a flight was assaulted by a male traveler.
Some passengers aren’t happy with the new policy, due to concerns that include the potential increase of gender discrimination.
The new reservations are set to take effect on domestic flights beginning on January 18.