Millennium Post

Air India to start Lucknow-Najaf flight

New Delhi: National carrier Air India plans to start twice a week service to Najaf in Iraq from the second week of January, according to a document.

The flight would be from Lucknow with a stopover in Delhi.

Najaf is considered sacred by Shia Muslims and Lucknow has a sizeable Shia population.

Air India plans to operate A320 neo aircraft for the services.

The details have been mentioned in the tender document seeking bids for appointment of General Sales Agent (GSA) in Iraq.

The frequency of the service would be twice a week and the plane would have 162 seats, with 12 in business class and the rest in the economy class, according to the document.

The flights are expected to commence from the second week of January, it added.

"Air India is desirous of appointing GSA in the territory of Iraq for handling air passenger transportation services.

"The initial term of the GSA agreement would be five years from the date of execution of the same, which would be subject to review by Air India every year based on the performance of the successful bidder," the document said.

Air India group, which comprises Air India, Air India Express and Alliance Air, operates over 40 flights per day to more than 80 domestic and 44 international destinations with a combined fleet of 161 aircraft.

Earlier this month, a source said the stay arrangements for the flight crew is one of the key issues as it cannot stay in Najaf due to certain reasons.

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