55% IndiGo domestic flights delayed after crew fall sick on AI recruitment day
New Delhi, July 3: Several IndiGo flights across the country were delayed after the non-availability of crew members on Saturday.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has taken strong cognizance against IndiGo and sought an explanation behind the massive flight delays nationwide, officials told ANI.
As per a PTI report, fifty-five per cent of IndiGo's domestic flights were delayed as a significant number of cabin crew members took sick leave, with sources in the industry saying they ostensibly went for an Air India recruitment drive.
When asked about this matter, DGCA chief Arun Kumar told PTI on Sunday, "We are looking into this." The phase-2 of Air India's recruitment drive was conducted on Saturday and the majority of IndiGo's cabin crew members who took sick leave went for it, the sources in the industry added.
IndiGo, India's largest airline, currently operates approximately 1,600 flights --domestic and international -- daily. IndiGo did not respond to PTI's request for a statement on the matter.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation's website, 45.2 per cent of IndiGo's domestic flights operated on time on Saturday. In comparison, the on-time performances of Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara, Go First and AirAsia India was 77.1 per cent, 80.4 per cent, 86.3 per cent, 88 per cent and 92.3 per cent, respectively, on Saturday.
The Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27, after successfully winning the bid for the airline on October 8 last year. Air India has started a recruitment drive for fresh cabin crew members as it is planning to buy new planes and improve its services.
Indigo is the market leader which transported around 70 lakh with 57.9 per cent market share in May 2022, followed by Mumbai-based carrier Go First with 12.76 lakh passengers, accounting for 10.8 per cent of the total domestic traffic.
The two full-service carriers -- Air India and Vistara, which are part of the Tata Group along with no-frills AirAsia India -- carried 8.23 lakh and 9.83 lakh passengers, respectively, in the previous month.
AirAsia India flew 6.86 lakh passengers across the domestic routes in May 2022, the DGCA said.
During the reporting month, budget carrier SpiceJet delivered the highest load factor at 89.1 per cent followed by Go First at 86.5 per cent, as per the monthly data.
In aviation parlance, passenger Load Factor or Seat Factor is a measure of how much of an airline's passenger carrying capacity is used or average percentage of seats filled in an aircraft.
In terms of On-Time Performance (OTP), AirAsia India, had its maximum number of flights operating on time with an OTP of 90.8 per cent across four key airports.
Vistara had the second best OTP at 87.5 per cent in the month under review, DGCA said.
At present DGCA publishes monthly on-time performance of domestic airlines from four metro airports -- Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.