Thursday, February 14, 2019

Why Indigo has cancelled so many flights up till March-end

New Delhi: IndiGo, the country's largest airline, has been cancelling several of its flights since Saturday, but the pace has picked up in the last two days. After cancelling more than 30 flights on Tuesday, the airline yesterday cancelled 49 flights, and the pattern is expected to continue for over a month.

"IndiGo is slightly adjusting its flight schedule in the coming days by approximately 30 flights per day. This is in order to stabilize the network and operations impacted due to various ongoing Notams [notices to airmen] and predicted bad weather in the coming days," the airline said in a statement. Notams are advisories issued to alert pilots about potential hazards and other information that could affect flight operations.

The intense hailstorm that turned Delhi into a winter wonderland last week had disrupted operations for many airlines, causing a total of 36 flights to be diverted.

Flights were cancelled in the Kolkata-Delhi, Kolkata-Nagpur, Kolkata-Chennai, Kolkata-Bangalore, Hyderabad-Kolkata, Hyderabad-Bangalore, Ahmedabad-Udaipur, Ahmedabad-Bangalore, Mumbai-Delhi, and Bangalore-Raipur routes, among others, Mint reported.

"These medium term cancellations have been made to minimise the impact on passengers as alternative travel options have been offered well in advance," IndiGo clarified, adding that the cancellations represent 2% of its flights and that operations would be normalised completely by March 31. The airline, which has cornered more than 41% of the domestic market share, typically operates around 1,300 flights daily.
However, the buzz is that a more serious problem than crew management is plaguing IndiGo: pilot shortage. "The airline is facing a shortage of commanders and pilots and this is forcing the airline to cancel flights from across stations," a source in the aviation industry told PTI.
"IndiGo has been aggressively increasing capacity and has been facing crew and pilot shortage for quite some time now. This has likely caused the disruptions during the past few days as there were no major issues that could have cancelled or delayed so many flights," a source in the know told the daily. The operations of the other airlines were reportedly not as badly disrupted as that of IndiGo between February 8 and 10.
14/02/19  BusinessToday.In

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