IndiGo cuts 30 flights daily to 'slightly adjust' schedules; to reduce some flights in March as a proactive measure

Shortage of pilots continued to hamper operations of IndiGo with the budget carrier announcing that it would cancel 30 flights per day from across major airports this month.  The airline told the country’s aviation regulator it had cancelled 49 flights on Wednesday.

Acknowledging the disruption in its services, the airline said, it will "slightly adjust" its schedules in the coming days, impacting about 30 flights per day.

"IndiGo is slightly adjusting its flight schedule in the coming days by around 30 flights per day to stabilise the network and operations impacted due to various ongoing Notams and likely bad weather in the coming days," the airline said in a statement.

"To avoid inconvenience, these adjustments are being made in advance, enabling adequate notice to passengers. They are being accommodated close to their original flight schedule. These adjustments amount to 1-2 percent of the originally planned flights," the statement said.

Notam, or notice to airmen, is given to pilots and include information on potential hazards on a flight route.

The Interglobe Aviation-owned company will also reduce some flights in March as a “proactive measure”, it said in a statement.

IndiGo Airlines aircraft. Reuters

IndiGo Airlines aircraft. Reuters

On Monday and Tuesday, the airline had pulled out 32 and 30 flights respectively from its network at short notice due to the on-going pilot shortage inconveniencing tens of hundreds of passengers. Most flights have been cancelled from Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai, a source told PTI.

While eight flights were not operated from Kolkata on Tuesday, another five flights were cancelled from Hyderabad and four each from Bangalore and Chennai among others, the source added.

The source also alleged that IndiGo was forcing passengers to either buy last minute tickets on its flights or offering them alternate flights with one-stop connectivity with a long layover time.

The airline had on Sunday blamed bad weather for disruptions in operations across its network.

IndiGo, India’s largest airline by fleet size and number of passengers, cancelled the flights as a precautionary measure as it experienced bad weather, it said in a statement.

“This resulted in extended duty times which then made it necessary to re-roster our crew,” IndiGo said.

IndiGo said it has informed all its passengers about the move in advance, and that its operations would be normalized by 31 March.

Meanwhile, a senior official said aviation regulator DGCA is looking into the "issue."

An airline official said the disruption in the flight operations emanated from the heavy rains and hailstorm that hit the Delhi-NCR region last week and subsequent flight duty and time limitations (FDTL) issue.

Both the pilots and cabin crew are governed by DGCA mandated flight duty and time limitation (FDTL) norms and they can't fly beyond the FDTL.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 07:42:28 IST

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