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5,178 fliers affected by cancellations in August

The civil aviation ministry on Thursday released passenger data for August, saying 5,178 people were affected due to domestic flight cancellations in the month.

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The civil aviation ministry on Thursday released passenger data for August, saying 5,178 people were affected due to domestic flight cancellations in the month. Kingfisher leads with 3,276 affected passengers, followed by SpiceJet (1,360) and GoAir (542).

JetLite, Jet Airways and Kingfisher cancelled the maximum number of flights, with flight cancellations being 3.1% of the total. The data says 51.3% flights were cancelled because of commercial reasons. Also, 1,078 passenger complaints were received, mostly against Jet Airways, JetLite, SpiceJet and IndiGo.
However, the new push-back rules implemented in the four metros in July improved the on-time performance of airlines to 87.6% in August from 82.7% in July.

Back to passenger inconvenience, the ministry’s data shows that Kingfisher passengers had to put up with delays, flight cancellations and, at times, were denied boarding.   

More than 35,150 Kingfisher passengers had to experience a delay of more than two hours. The number denied boarding was 71. But in all cases, “passengers were provided with refreshments, refunds, and rescheduling as per choice”, the ministry’s press release said.

Following Kingfisher is the low cost carrier SpiceJet, 4,685 passengers of which were subjected to delays. “Interestingly, the list excludes two major full service carriers (FSC) — Air India (AI) and Jet Airways, and its low cost arm JetLite,” an industry expert said. “Kingfisher is the only FSC which transparently provided all required data to the directorate-general of civil aviation (DGCA).”

Jet Airways and JetLite top the list of on-time performance (OTP), with (respectively) 94% and 94.1% flights leaving and arriving on time, followed by Indigo (89.9%) and Kingfisher (87.5%). “This seems contradictory, as Jet tops the list in flight cancellations,” the expert said. The contradiction is resolved if one takes into account high flight volumes. “Surprisingly, AI, which has the second-worst OTP (82%) after GoAir (80.1) has an average passenger complaint of only 0.6,” the expert said.

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