An initiative taken by a domestic airline seems to have backfired even though it was intended to facilitate passenger convenience. With only 10 aircraft in its fleet, the decision of GoAir to bring Haj pilgrims from Patna and Srinagar to Delhi is affecting passengers from other sectors.
In the past few days, GoAir flights from Delhi and other destinations are constantly getting delayed. According to sources, only 70% of GoAir flights operated on time during this period.
“I was scheduled to travel by G8 175 on Friday, but the flight got delayed by over four hours. Later, I found out that almost every GoAir flight is getting delayed. The airline should have informed us about the delay,” said a passenger, who didn’t wish to be named.
When the Hindustan Times checked the airport website on Sunday evening, it was found that while other flights were on time, GoAir arrivals and departures were delayed by one to three hours.
Sources at the airport said since the airline doesn’t have spare aircraft, they diverted the scheduled plane to carry Haj pilgrims. “A slight delay in the Haj flight could lead to delay in other sectors as the same aircraft has to ply to other destinations. Regular passengers are suffering because of constant delays,” said a source.
Airline officials, however, claimed that the delays are due to weather conditions.
“The flights have not been delayed because of charter movements,” Kaushik Khona, CEO, GoAir said, adding that Haj passenger movements
for Patna were planned during night hours, when they don’t have any scheduled operations. For Srinagar, there is a
slight change in the time which has already been announced and intimated to passengers at least a fortnight in advance, he said.
The airline said flights are getting delayed because of extraneous factors like weather, congestion. “All these factors have affected not only Go Air, but all other airlines,” Khona. said.
On Friday, a flight to Delhi got diverted to Jaipur, while six other aircraft had already been diverted to Jaipur due to congestion at Delhi. The same day, the weather at Indore affected four flights, added Khona.