Thiruvananthapuram: Air India has decided to levy uniform charges for flying human remains from the UAE to India, ending the controversial method of calculating the charge based on the weight of bodies, according to a report in Gulf News.
The decision, applicable to all flights from the UAE to all destinations in India by Air India and its low-cost arm, Air India Express, comes into effect on Saturday. There have been persistent demands by expats to either scrap the transportation charge or bring a uniform charge.
“It will be a flat rate of Dh1500 (Rs 28,500 at current rate) on all mortal remains irrespective of destination and weight of the body. There will be a 50 percent discount in the case of children below 12,” an AI official told GN.
The official added that the airline is implementing the same scheme in all GCC countries. The freight charges will be fixed at 160 Omani Riyal, 175 Kuwait Dinar, 2200 Saudi Riyal, 225 Bahraini Dinar and 2200 Qatari Riyal.
The Indian Consulate in Dubai has been informed about the move verbally, a consulate official told GN.
Air India’s method of calculating the freight charges based on the weight of the deceased had been widely criticized by Indian expats, especially the social workers in the UAE who have been campaigning relentlessly against it.
In September, the airline kicked up furore when it announced scrapping the discounts on the cargo fare for transporting human remains from the UAE.