Travel agencies says ticketing queries for AI flights have dropped from the usual 15 per cent of all inquiries to zero in the hours following the crash
Air India is feeling the heat as the number of inquiries for its flights to ticketing agencies continue to dip since the Mangalore crash.
While a few agencies in the city haven't received a single enquiry for Air India flights following the crash, employees of public sector undertakings, who prefer Air India for official reasons, are shunning the airline too.
Even PSU employees, who preferred AI flights are opting for private carriers
Dip, dip, dip
"Gulf-bound passengers, who till recently enquired about Air India, are deliberately avoiding it," said Asha Kiran S, Chairman, Matha Travels. "At least 15 per cent of inquiries we got on any day were for Air India.
Yesterday and the day before we did not get a single call." Others agencies in city, who booked Air India tickets everyday, confirmed that calls for the national carrier have dried up since the crash.
'It takes time'
"I haven't booked a single Air India ticket yesterday," said Manjunath R, proprietor, Travel Magic. "Travelers appear to have become jittery since the day of the crash.
Even employees of PSUs, who preferred Air India flights because they can reimburse the expenses are opting for private carriers."
Experts, however, say that the passengers are merely reacting to the crash and will in due course return to Air India.
"This happens after crashes of such intensity," said Sanjay Kumar Gupta, secretary, of Travel Agents Federation of India, Bangalore. "People other carriers over ones involved in crashes. Things will return to normal but it takes time."
Air India, meanwhile, is leaving no stone unturned to set things right.
"The loss is not for families alone," said Arvind Jadhav, chairman and managing director, Air India. "My staff is traumatised too. We will set up counseling centers to help them cope."