How can airlines flying on the same route with the same type of aircraft have varying flight durations?
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has called a meeting of domestic airlines to standardise the block hours — the actual flying time on important routes.
“How can an airline have a inflated block time of two hours twenty minutes on a sector when another airline has a flying time of two hours on the same route?” questioned a DGCA official.
The difference in flight duration on the same sector was found to be as high as 20-30 minutes, he said. “We have done an analysis of 10 scheduling periods for important sectors and worked out the average block hours for flights. The flight duration can have mild variation but they should not vary too much.”
“Block timings are mostly fudged to show a good on-time performance (OTP),” another official said.
“OTP is a key parametre to judge an airline’s efficiency... nothing is more important for a passenger than reaching on-time,” an expert said.