'Air-ing' some statistics
By Avani Kapur, Anirvan Chowdhury, 18 Jul 2010

With the monsoons finally here, most of us have been stuck in airports waiting in vain for flights that have been cancelled. The lucky few have had to endure only delayed flights. With that all-consuming thought, we thought we’d do some digging around and we landed on the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) website.

I think most people have heard our rants about bad quality government data, and if you haven’t, please see here, however sometimes it’s good to also show the other side.  The DGCA website (http://dgca.nic.in/) unlike a lot of other government websites is a virtual goldmine of information, ranging from flight cancellations, on-time performance, passenger data and passenger complaints, just to name a few.

We’d like to highlight some of this data.

1)     Market Share

In the domestic flights section, Jet Airways and Jet Lite together account for 26.1% of the market share, followed by Kingfisher(20%) and Indigo(19.9%). Air India is much lower at 13.2% In terms of number of flights, Kingfisher and Jet Airways lead the way with 24 and 23 percent respectively with IndiGo and Air India have 16 and 15 percent respectively.

 

2)     Cancellation Rates

Which air-lines have the greatest number of “cancellations”? The data we have pertains to only May 2011, which is probably one of the major limitations of the website (sorry had to point this out as well) and as even a cursory glance suggests, Air India is the clear leader in terms of cancellation rates! A primary reason for this is the 10 day strike by some AI pilots, which left the airline paralysed and passengers high and dry.

3)     On-Time Performance

Over 92 percent of the flights of IndiGo and JetLite are on time whilst Spice Jet and Air India are the stragglers with 79 and 69 percent of flights on time respectively. The main reason for delays is “reactionary” (59%). This is primarily due to a vicious cycle of delayed departures and arrivals which, amongst other things, may be because of inadequate air traffic control capacity.

4)     Passenger Complaints

Figures on passenger complaints also tell an interesting story. In May 2011, despite the cancellations and delays, Air India had the least number of complaints at 1.4 complaints per 10,000 passengers. Kingfisher and JetLite also had few complaints, while surprisingly Jet Airways left a lot of travelers in a petulant mood with 3.3 complaints per 10,000 passengers.

While none of the data spouted above may help us in actually planning our travels, we thought it would be interesting to know the statistics! If this is not enough, then some good news for stranded passengers – a recent Supreme Court judgment has made it mandatory for airlines to serve passengers food and water if the airline has been delayed beyond 3 hours!!