Passenger grouse against flight disruptions hits new high in Oct
MUMBAI: Air travellers’ ire over flight disruptions caused by aircraft snags saw a steady rise in October over the previous month.
According to data from the civil aviation ministry at least one-third fliers’ complaints recorded by domestic airlines last month comprise grouse over flight problems.
This also comprised majority of the complaints followed by customer service (24.5) and baggage problems (21.9%).
Complaints over snaginduced disruptions also saw a sharp spike last month over the previous two months. From accounting for 24.2% complaints in August and September, grouses on this issue rose to 33% last month.
“We are planning to address the concerns in our monthly meeting with stakeholders. We cannot afford to have too many aircraft snags during the upcoming fog season,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official requesting anonymity.
The official added that December and January are extremely challenging months for smooth air travel in the country as often thick fog in northern India slows flight movements in the first half of the day.
While December recorded close to 1.90 lakh passengers who faced last minute flight cancellations or delays exceeding two hours, the number rose to 2.09 lakh in January, according to data from the ministry.
The ministry data also showed that snags were also responsible for more than four out of 10 flight cancellation recorded by domestic airlines.
“The data raises a larger concern of poorly maintained aircraft fleet,” said a former member of a government appointed independent air safety panel requesting ano nymity.
The air safety expert added “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently conducted an emergency audit of Air India after two back to-back incidents on aircraft catching fire. They should con duct similar audits on other airlines.”
Airline failed to close 97 complaints of the 727 com plaints recorded by the regu lator last month.