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Indian airline Vistara: Women flying solo can skip middle seat

Posted July 31

As the scourge of manspreading manspreads around the planet, one airline is taking steps to protect its women passengers.

Delhi-based carrier Vistara has launched a new service that guarantees women won't be allocated a middle seat. It's part of a series of measures introduced in March 2017 by the domestic airline to protect solo female fliers.

Vistara says its Woman Flyer initiative will "ensure only window or aisle seats are assigned to solo women travelers" -- even if customers do not select preferred seats in advance.

Upon arrival, Vistara staff will be available at baggage reclaim to offer assistance to female travelers with luggage. Staff will also be on hand to help women book airport-authorized taxis.

MORE: 7 tips for successful solo travel

Flying high

The airline claims the project celebrates women and encourages them to expand their horizons -- and feel comfortable doing so.

"The heights that women around the world have scaled needs no validation. Women are a major force that makes economies stronger and societies healthier," Deepa Chadha, Vistara's senior vice president, explained in a statement.

Vistara says it plans to expand beyond India in the near future -- and intends to provide this service on international flights.

MORE: Women in the captain's seat

India: business travel hub of the future?

According to the Global Business Travel Association, India is poised to become the world's sixth-largest business travel market by 2019.

However the country has a problematic international reputation when it comes to women's safety, due to a slew of violent crimes.

In an effort to tackle the problem, the country has introduced train carriages and buses reserved for women and children only.

If India wants to strengthen its position as a business travel hub, services such as Vistara's initiative could pave the way forward.

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