Mumbai/New Delhi: All business-class airline Paramount Airways Pvt. Ltd was the most punctual carrier in May with an 89% on-schedule record, followed by low-fare IndiGo at 85.7% and Jet Airways (India) Ltd at 84.4%, according to the first such data released by the aviation regulator.
A flight is considered on time if it leaves within 15 minutes of scheduled departure. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, or DGCA, has decided to release monthly data on timings to reflect airlines’ operational efficiency and ascertain reasons for delays.
Good show: A Paramount Airways aircraft. Paramount was the most punctual carrier in May, followed by Indigo and Jet Airways.
“Constraint at various domestic airports is (the) primary cause for delays,” says Pradeep Kumar, director at travel consulting firm Aims International Pvt. Ltd, who has frequent flyer cards with three domestic carriers. “Airlines are forced to circle around the skies while landing and forced to queue up on the runway before taking off due to non-availability of runways.”
The average on-time performance of the country’s airlines on domestic routes was 79.5% in May, DGCA data show. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, India’s largest private airline by passengers flown, was on schedule for 82.4% of its domestic flights. The Wadia Group-promoted GoAir clocked a 79.4% punctuality rate, while SpiceJet Ltd recorded 75.9% and Air India, the country’s flag carrier, 72.4%.
MDLR Airlines Pvt. Ltd, the country’s only regional carrier in operation, was at the bottom of the list with a 49.3% on-time record.
Although Paramount Airways tops the list, the Chennai-based airline runs a thin fleet of six aircraft largely out of less busy airports in southern India.
IndiGo, run by InterGlobe Aviation Pvt. Ltd, operates 137 flights daily connecting major airports, and Jet Airways, the country’s second biggest carrier by passengers flown, operates 334 daily flights.
Meanwhile, airline passenger traffic declined almost 11% in the first five months. Passenger traffic in January-May fell to 17.3 million from 19.4 million in the year-ago period.
May, traditionally a good month for airlines in India owing to summer holidays, registered a slight increase in passenger traffic to 3.9 million against 3.3 million in April.
“In May, traffic was higher because of (the) holiday season but long-term confidence is very poor,” said Arvind Jadhav, the new chairman and managing director of National Aviation Co. of India Ltd, which runs Air India.
Kingfisher Airlines, along with its low-fare Kingfisher Red, retained the top slot with a market share of 25.7%, followed by Jet Airways and JetLite at 23.2%.
Among low-fare carriers, IndiGo remained at the top with a 13.7% market share.
(‘PTI’ contributed to this story.)