The national carrier Air India has decided to allow recipients of war and peace time gallantry awards an upgrade to business class, in case of vacancy.

Although the Army personnel will be provided with economy class boarding cards as per their tickets, the upgradation will be given at the time of boarding , as per availability of seats, reports TOI.

Army Personnel in Dehra Dun. Source:PTI

An Air India official told TOI,

"The soldiers will be upgraded to business class on domestic sectors at the boarding gate, subject to availability of seats. Since the upgrade will happen at this point, the decorated soldiers holding economy tickets will, however, not be entitled for the business lounge facility"

The new upgrade policy, taking effect from this month, will be available only to those servicemen who have been bestowed with Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), Vir Chakra (VC), Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra . The initiative has been taken by the Air India chief Ashwini Lohani, who felt that this was the best they could do to pay a tribute to them, a report in the Financial Express added.

Representational Image /Source:PTI

The domestic carriers, including Air India already provide a 50% discount on the basic fares to Military personnel and their family members, travelling at their own expense.

The Army personnel will be required to produce their identity cards at airline's check-in counters to avail the scheme. However, the privilege will be exclusive for the soldiers, not the family members accompanying them, said a report in the Financial Express.