Thursday, July 14, 2022

3 in 4 fliers concerned about flight safety, 44% avoiding SpiceJet after recent mishaps: Survey

New Delhi: At least 44 percent of fliers who travel on domestic airlines are currently avoiding taking a Spicejet flight while 21 percent each are giving Air India and Indigo a pass after a spate of mishaps in a span of less than 20 days. Travelers are concerned that airlines may be cutting corners on aircraft maintenance, thereby putting passenger safety at risk, revealed a survey by Localcircles.

On July 5, three aircraft belonging to different airlines showed up to be not airworthy. While IndiGo and Vistara airlines reported smoke and engine issues during their flight operations, one SpiceJet freighter plane had technical malfunction leading to the cancellation of a flight to China. In the case of SpiceJet, there have been eight instances of technical malfunction in recent times.

An engine of a Vistara aircraft on way from Bangkok failed after it landed at the Delhi airport last week but all passengers disembarked safely. The same day, the cabin crew of an IndiGo's Raipur-Indore flight observed smoke in the plane after it landed at its destination. And aviation regulator DGCA issued a show-cause notice Wednesday to SpiceJet after it reported eight technical malfunction incidents involving its planes over the last 18 days, flagging safety oversight, inadequate maintenance and payment-related shortage of spares.

At least 46 percent domestic fliers surveyed believe the financial situation of airlines is the key cause for safety incidents while 33 percent domestic fliers surveyed believe the key cause is weak internal/external audit systems and regulatory oversight.

LocalCircles got responses from over 45,000 domestic air travellers located in 302 districts of India.

At least 3 in 4 Indian fliers surveyed said they are concerned about flight safety while flying while 35 percent said they were only concerned if they were undertaking travel via a select few airlines.

Despite having rules in place, India compares poorly with many of the developing countries when it comes to safe air travel. One of the principal reasons is the fast increase in the number of airports and aircrafts over the last several years barring during the pandemic, which hit the civil aviation sector in India, similar to the trends seen globally.

14/07/22 Sunainaa Chadha/Times of India

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