Air India has started selling women-only rows of seats.

From January 18, the national airline will reserve the third row – six seats – in economy for female passengers travelling alone.

The seats will be offered without extra charges, with the move designed to “enhance comfort levels”.

The segregated seats are currently only available on domestic routes, with Air India not confirming whether the move will be available on international services.

“We feel, as national carriers, it is our responsibility to enhance comfort levels for female passengers,” Air India general manager-revenue management Meenakshi Malik told The Hindu. “There are a lot of female passengers who travel alone with us and we will be blocking a few seats for them.”

The decision to start selling women-only seats follows two recent incidents of male passengers reportedly groping female passengers on Air India flights.

Last week, Air India announced it would keep plastic handcuffs on all flights to restrain “unruly flyers”.

“We used to carry restrainers only on our international flights but will now have them on both domestic and international flights. All our aircraft will have two pairs of restraining devices,” AI chairman Ashwani Lohani told The Times of India. “The safety of passengers and aircraft is paramount. We will not compromise with that.”