Air Travel Volume Breaches 10-Million Mark in October: DGCA Report
New Delhi, August 20: India’s biggest private Airlines, IndiGo, in a statement released on Sunday alleged the spurt in misinformation regarding the cancellations of flights was spread by one of its competitors. The Statement read, “We believe that this misleading information about the alleged spurt in cancellations has been spread by one of our competitors within a few hours of the release by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of the latest On Time Performance data for the month of July.”
Full statement of IndiGo Airlines
“In the last few days, there have been misinformed media reports suggesting that IndiGo is cancelling eighty-five daily flights. The IndiGo brand has become synonymous with punctuality, reliability and consistency. Moreover, as a company, we recognize the importance of good corporate governance and transparency and feel it is imperative to clarify certain facts.
We believe that this misleading information about the alleged spurt in cancellations has been spread by one of our competitors within a few hours of the release by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of the latest On Time Performance data for the month of July. The DGCA data showed that IndiGo was once again Number One in On Time Performance at 84.5% while all other airlines were a distant second.
Beginning in early 2016, IndiGo introduced the latest technology A320neo aircraft into its fleet. Regrettably, the Pratt and Whitney engines on this new aircraft have two specific components that start to wear out sooner than they should and as a result those engines need to be replaced much earlier than the normal replacement cycle for engines.
While not a safety issue, we report all the relevant data on these engines to the DGCA and they are also continuously monitoring these issues as part of their oversight authority and responsibility. Pratt and Whitney is working to resolve these design issues on their Worldwide fleet of engines and, we believe, that the final design changes will be implemented over the next twelve to eighteen months.
At the same time, Pratt and Whitney is struggling to provide sufficient spare engines to its Worldwide customer base which results in parking some aircraft due to lack of spare engines.
Since early 2016 and, on an ongoing basis, IndiGo has been publicly sharing with our investors and the press the various issues associated with these engines. In fact just last month we publicly disclosed that there have been days when we have parked as many as nine of our aircraft due to lack of spare engines.
To avoid inconveniencing our customers, we had already factored in the reduced aircraft capacity while scheduling our flights. This pre-planning has allowed us to accommodate our customers on other flights well in advance and other than those days when an additional aircraft needs to grounded, there have been no unplanned cancellations due to lack of spare engines.
On an unrelated matter, four of our aircraft had to be grounded due to spare engines that are awaiting customs clearance for as much as three weeks. We are waiting clarification on certain provisions affecting the entire airline industry post the implementation of GST.
Our understanding is that the GST was not intended to create an additional fiscal burden on the airline industry. This unpredictable situation did lead to some unplanned short-term flight cancellations and we have made every effort to inform our affected customers and provide them with alternative arrangements. We are engaged in ongoing discussions with the relevant authorities and hope to receive the GST clarification soon.