In a move to reduce operating costs, Air India on Thursday said it has curtailed 50 flights on international and domestic routes to maintain balance between seat availability and passenger demand till June 15.
"We have taken this step with demand supply factor in consideration.
This is the end of the peak summer season and passenger demand is a bit low. So rather than flying on less load factor, we decided to operate lesser flights on some routes," senior Air India official said from Mumbai.
According to the official, 50 flights which have been curtailed would be re-deployed as per demand on other sectors and some seven-eight flights have been combined into one operation to have high passenger count on the aircraft.
"We have combined flights, rescheduled some flights and will take further decision on the same after June 15," the official said, adding that the practice was universal and private firms do it more often than the national carrier.
The 50 flights curtailed and re-scheduled are on Delhi-Mumbai route as well as on some other metro routes, while two flights on Delhi-London route have also been combined into one single operation.
"We do require a minimum load factor to operate. Now a 45-minute to one hour flight requires more passenger count than a 15-hour flight, so these considerations were kept in mind in choosing the routes."
The high jet fuel cost coupled with operating cost is one of the areas where the flag carrier is looking to improve its performance by increasing savings and reducing extra cost in terms of ground handling and manpower.