Nearly every 4th Air India flight from four busy airports delayed in October
A further analysis of on-time performance shows the national carrier, which is holding up because of a Rs 30,000 crore bailout package from the government, could not fly 42.5 percent flights or about four in every 10 from Mumbai airport on time in October.
New Delhi: Every fourth Air India flight which took off from India's four large airports last month was delayed. According to DGCA data, Air India's on-time performance at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai airports was the lowest among all domestic airlines at 75.5 percent.
A further analysis of on-time performance shows the national carrier, which is holding up because of a Rs 30,000 crore bailout package from the government, could not fly 42.5 percent flights or about four in every 10 from Mumbai airport on time in October. To be sure, Mumbai is a problem for all airlines and their OTP but Air India has been the worst performer among the lot. Except GoAir, every other private carrier has managed an on-time performance of over 80 percent from the congested Mumbai airport. Air India had fared better at the other three airports though: Hyderabad OTP was 86 percent, Delhi was 84.4 percent and Bengaluru was 78.8 percent.
An official from the Ministry of Civil Aviation said earlier this week that Air India has achieved network wide OTP of about 85 percent now (this includes international operations) but remains short of the target of 90 percent laid down in the Turnaround Plan which has set various other parameters too for Air India's equity support to continue from the government's coffers.
In October, Air India had the second lowest aircraft load (which percentage of number of occupied seats) at 74.6 percent. Only Vistara was behind it in aircraft occupancy at 67 percent but Vistara saw an improvement over September when Air India did not. In other words, roughly every fourth seat was vacant on Air India's domestic flights last month. This, when passenger traffic grew by nearly 19 percent to 70.39 lakh passengers in October compared to 59.25 lakh people in the same period of 2014. Air India continued to top passenger complaints as well as amounts given to passengers as compensation. The airline started 2015 with close to a fifth of the market but is now languishing at just 15.5 percent share.
As per DGCA data, SpiceJet continued to gain market share and fill aircraft seats in October, with highest passenger load among all airlines at 92.1 percent. The domestic aviation market has been growing month on month at a rapid pace and though some other airlines are also reporting an increase in passenger numbers, the increase seen in the case of SpiceJet appears spectacular because the airline had reduced capacity significantly at the beginning of this calendar year but has been adding seats to its network steadily thereafter.
Jet Airways and JetLite together flew 14.95 lakh people while their individual market shares stood at 18.80 percent and 2.60 percent respectively. Budget carrier GoAir transported 5.94 lakh passengers and commanded a market share of 8.4 percent. Startup airlines AirAsia and Vistara ferried more than a lakh passengers each last month. While AirAsia carried 1.50 lakh, Vistara flew 1.23 lakh passengers. Their market shares touched 2.1 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
IndiGo, which recently got listed on the bourses, maintained its leadership position with a market share of 36.8 percent. It flew 25.90 lakh passengers last month.
IndiGo airline received much flak after it denied boarding to a differently-abled child on a Hyderabad-bound flight at the Ranchi airport.
Aviation regulator DGCA has started a probe in the matter and asked the airline to submit a report
A total of five landings have to be done by the aircraft to successfully complete its proving flights, sources said