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FLIERS from Mumbai may have to brace themselves for disruptions in their travel plans, as some flights of budget carriers IndiGo and GoAir will remain cancelled till March 24. According to the cancellation schedule shared by the airlines, as many as 50 flights were cancelled on Wednesday. On Monday, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded 14 A320 Neo planes of IndiGo and GoAir running on Pratt and Whitney engines. This led to the cancellation of 65 flights on Tuesday. According to the cancellation schedule, four IndiGo flights between Mumbai and Delhi were cancelled on Wednesday. While six GoAir flights were cancelled, none of them originated in Mumbai or were flying to the city.
According to the GoAir list of flight cancellations, 18 flights continue to be off schedule till March 24. The airline said the flight schedule may continue to remain affected till new engines are provided to replace the defective ones. A statement from Pratt and Whitney said: “We are working closely with our customers to minimize disruption. The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration.”
Travel websites claimed that airfares between Mumbai and Delhi were on the rise since the cancellation of flights between the two cities. The airlines said they were trying to accommodate passengers on other flights to minimise the inconvenience caused.
“Although airlines are providing full refund or next available flights to passengers at zero cost, many passengers are finding themselves on the receiving end. As new reservations are hitting their pocket and the existing ones have been cancelled. It has also shifted some business from IndiGo and GoAir to Vistara, Jet Airways and Air India as passengers don’t want any last minute hiccups. The flight cancellation effect will last till March 24,” said Manheer Singh Sethi, co-founder, Travkart.
Sethi added that the travel agency is making sure that passengers are informed about flights with Pratt and Whitney 11000 series engines and are being provided with alternative flights if they asked for it. According to Yatra.com, the highest airfare on Wednesday between Mumbai and Delhi was Rs 28,911 and the lowest was Rs 9,112.
“Delhi took the maximum hit with over 50 per cent of these cancellations taking place from the city. GoAir on the other hand saw about 8 per cent cancellations with Chennai being the most affected airport. Mumbai airport was also impacted,” said Aloke Bajpai, the CEO and co-founder, Ixigo.
A flight passenger, Rajesh Sanghi, said: “I am a regular flier to Delhi. I have switched to using another airline to reach Delhi as opposed to IndiGo due to the persistent issue. Except for the steep increase in airfare, not much of a problem is being felt.”