Facing continued disruption in its network and operations, IndiGo Airlines cancelled around 30 flights on Tuesday and maintained that it will adjust around 30 flights per day over the coming days on account of Notice to Airmen (Notam) and predicted bad weather. The airline had cancelled at least 32 flights on Monday and around 70 flights over the weekend.
Even as industry insiders said that the airline is facing shortage of commanders, in a statement issued on Tuesday, the IndiGo said, “IndiGo is slightly adjusting its flight schedule in the coming days by approximately 30 flights per day. This is in order to stabilise the network and operations impacted due to various ongoing Notams and predicted bad weather in the coming days.”
Notam is issued by air traffic control (ATC) informing restriction in flight operations at a particular airport on account of various reasons. Notam is issued on Republic Day, during very bad weather or VIP movements. Earlier, flight restrictions were imposed on account of aero show in Bengaluru.
The airline further said, “In order to avoid inconvenience, these adjustments are being made in advance enabling adequate notice to passengers. They are being accommodated close to their original flight schedule. These adjustments amount to 1 per cent to 2 per cent of the originally planned number of flights.”
IndiGo, that has a fleet size of 209 planes and operates around 1,300 daily flights had around 43 per cent marketshare as of November 2019. While it covers 52 domestic destinations, it also covers 16 international ones.
A source within the company said that since the firm operates the biggest network of flights in the country, its services and operations got impacted the most and hence there have been cancellations. He added that it will take some time to normalise the operations.
On Sunday, the company had said that several of its flights were diverted due to the “severe hailstorm in North India on Friday, February 07, 2019”, and that it disrupted operations across its network the following day. “As part of recovering our schedule, positioning of the crew and aircraft had to be readjusted. As a result, a number of flights were cancelled,” the airline said in its Sunday statement.
Losses to come down, says CAPA
The cumulative losses of domestic airlines are likely to come down by two-third at $550-$700 million in FY20 against the earlier projected number of $1.7 billion on account of improvement in fares and prices of jet fuel stabilising at around the current levels, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in its latest forecast released on Tuesday. It added that strong balance sheets are key for long-term viability and the Indian aviation industry is likely to see new investors in 2-3 Indian carriers in 2019-20.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet chairman and MD Ajay Singh said on Tuesday that fluctuation in oil prices, yield indiscipline and airport infrastructure constraints remain three main challenges for aviation market. —FE & PTI