NEW DELHI: Ongoing financial and operational turbulence in a few domestic airlines has resulted in the cancellation of over a hundred flights per day and, if trends are to be believed, it is unlikely that there will be any relief to air passengers in the near future.
Debt-laden Jet Airways has grounded a total of 25 aircraft so far and industry sources say it will ground around 20 more planes in the coming days due to unpaid dues to lessors.
At present, Jet alone is cancelling over a 100 flights per day, while the country’s biggest carrier IndiGo, which is facing a shortage of pilots, is reportedly cancelling over 50 flights per day.
Two Delhi-based ticketing agents said that passengers have started taking note of Jet Airways’ high cancellation rate and are avoiding booking tickets on the airline.
“Passengers have started losing trust and we are also avoiding bulk corporate bookings with Jet Airways,” one of the agents said.
They, however, said passengers have no such issues with IndiGo, even though cancellations have increased the overall ticket prices in the range of 20-50 per cent, depending on the route.
Air ticket prices on the Delhi-Mumbai route on March 6 (seen on March 5) starts at around Rs 7,500 on major travel portals, while prices for a round trip from Mumbai to New Delhi for the last weekend of March starts at Rs 6,400.
Meanwhile, Wadia Group-owned GoAir said it will sub-lease most of its older Airbus A320 aircraft to ensure better fuel efficiency and improved profitability. It will also be undertaking scheduled maintenance and engineering checks of the aircraft so that it has a maximum capacity to operate during the peak season.
The airline, which has reportedly grounded 8 planes in the last few weeks, said that this will not affect GoAir’s existing flight schedule.