At a time when Ministry of Civil Aviation is planning to increase flight connectivity to smaller cities, this report could be a wake up call amidst the tall claims of world class services. According to Domestic Air Traffic Report of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the percentage of passengers suffered due to domestic flight cancellations in the country has increased three times in November this years than the last year.
The flight cancellation menace can’t be attributed to the fog alone which caused flight disruptions in north India in the last week of November; as the percentage of passengers suffered due to cancellation of domestic flights increased by around four times in September and three times in August.
In November, 24,201 passengers suffered due to flight cancellations which were only 8,524 in the same month of 2015. The passengers of Spice Jet suffered the most due to flight cancellations followed by Jet Airways and Jet Lite. “The flight cancellation rate was highest with Air Carnival which recorded 8.49 percent cancellations in November followed by Trujet, Go Air and Indigo,” said a senior officer of DGCA.
“Despite, demonetisaion the domestic civil aviation industry has recorded a 22.45 percent increase in the number of passengers in November in comparison to the previous year,” he added. The number of passengers suffered due to flight cancellations in October, September and August were 9,376; 17,490 and 18,353 respectively which were only 4,397; 4,837 and 5,117 in the corresponding moths of 2015.
As per the report, 32.8 per cent flights were cancelled due to ‘technical’ reasons in August, 48 per cent in September and 36.3 per cent in October. The weather related cancellations in these months were 4.3 percent, 3 percent and 9.5 percent respectively. It was only in November, the poor weather caused cancellations of around 41 percent flights but cancellations due to technical and operational reasons were 21.4 percent while 36 percent flights were cancelled due to miscellaneous reasons.
As per the data the number of delayed flights and passengers’ sufferings due to these delays has also increased exponentially. “The major factor behind delay of flights have been ‘reactionary’ which claimed 69 percent delay in flight operations,” informed the officer adding ‘reactionary’ reasons are related to the crew response. The analysis of DRDO is based on the reports of 11 major domestic airlines in the country. In November this year, 2144 passengers were denied boarding which were 1581 in November, 2015.