Over 1.08 lakh passengers were affected because of the large-scale flight cancellations by IndiGo, government data has revealed. During the first five months of the year, up to May, the no-frills carrier cancelled 1,824 flights, impacting 1,08,549 passengers, the highest among the domestic carriers.
The figures were shared by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
However, the reasons for the flight cancellations were not given in his reply.
Asked for its response, an IndiGo spokesperson said, "A significant reason for flight cancellations from January to May was grounding of neo planes, delivery delays and bad weather conditions in different parts of the country at different times."
Most of the cancellations, the spokesperson said, “are planned in advance”.
The carrier, with a domestic market share of more than 40 percent, grounded as many as 11 of its A320 neo aircraft in February and March this year due to Pratt & Whitney engine issues.
In March alone, it grounded eight aircraft following a directive from aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The grounding of the aircraft dealt a blow to the airline's schedule, as one plane is used for operating around 8 to 9 flights on an average. IndiGo operates around 1,000 flights every day.
In the 2017 June quarter, IndiGo grounded nine A320 neo planes due to engine issues. It also resulted in the airline cancelling 84 flights on a particular day last year.
GoAir, the other airline, which also has a fleet of A320 neo planes, grounded three of its aircraft in March this year following the DGCA directive.
According to the data, 986 of its passengers were affected because of the cancellation of its flights — 204.
The overall number of passengers who were affected till May stood at 1,52,069, with 3,843 flights being cancelled by the domestic carriers.
Last year, 52,489 passengers of IndiGo were hit due to over 1,934 flight cancellations.
The government data showed that Rs 223.21 lakh were paid as compensation to passengers by the airlines till May this year.
Though it had the highest number of cancellations, compensation paid by IndiGo was only Rs 4.55 lakh.
SpiceJet, which saw only 11,754 passenger affected because of the cancellations, paid 72.62 lakh.
The IndiGo spokesperson said, “IndiGo's compensation policy is in compliance with the civil aviation requirement rule”.