Shortage of pilots grounds more than 30 IndiGo flights

  • IndiGo operated about 1,300 flights daily
  • The airline had cancelled around 70 flights during the weekend

Mumbai: IndiGo cancelled more than 30 flights on Tuesday, primarily because of a shortage of pilots, an industry official said, requesting anonymity. The budget carrier, which is India’s largest airline by marketshare, operates about 1,300 flights daily.

Flights were cancelled in the Kolkata-Delhi, Kolkata-Nagpur, Kolkata-Chennai, Kolkata-Bangalore, Hyderabad-Kolkata, Hyderabad-Bangalore, Ahmedabad-Udaipur, Ahmedabad-Bangalore, Mumbai-Delhi, and Bangalore-Raipur routes, among others.

The airline is “slightly adjusting its flight schedule in the coming days by approximately 30 flights per day...in order to stabilise the network and operations impacted due to various ongoing Notams (notices to airmen) and predicted bad weather", IndiGo said. “These temporary adjustments amount to 1-2% of the originally planned number of flights," it said.

An industry official had earlier said that pilot and cabin crew shortage at IndiGo led to flight disruptions. “IndiGo has been aggressively increasing capacity and has been facing crew and pilot shortage for quite sometime now. This has likely caused the disruptions during the past few days as there were no major issues that could have cancelled or delayed so many flights," said the official mentioned above on condition of anonymity.

The airline had cancelled around 70 flights during the weekend.

“The (weekend) cancellations were a very small portion of our total daily flights and did not impact the overall operations of the airline," said an IndiGo official, requesting anonymity.

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which runs IndiGo, said disruptions were primarily because of the hailstorm that hit north India on Thursday. However, operations of other airlines were not disrupted as much as that of IndiGo between 8 and 10 February.

Earlier this month, IndiGo had said that it expects capacity to grow 34% in the current quarter as it continues to take delivery of at least one Airbus A320neo aircraft per week.

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