Uncertainty prevailed for passengers booked to travel on Kingfisher flights as the airline struggled to operate all the flights in its schedule for the fifth consecutive day. On Friday, it cancelled ten flights taking off or landing at the city airport.
On Thursday, the airline had told travel agents that it would release a curtailed flight schedule to end the ongoing confusion. However; it failed to keep the commitment. Travel industry sources said that the airline would now send a list of cancelled flights three to four days before their scheduled date of operation.
“We are going berserk re-booking passengers on other flights at the last moment,” said a Fort-based travel agent requesting anonymity.
On Friday evening, the airline issued a statement claiming that it has curtailed 40 flights nationally from its existing schedule of 340 flights. “The revised schedule is being loaded in the system and guests can confidently continue booking,” the statement read.
Travel experts added that people switching to other airlines at the last minute on Friday got away with spending a few hundred rupees extra, as airfares remained normal. But they claimed that a hike in airfare was likely if the fiasco did not end by next week.
“Currently the fares are normal owing to the drop in demand during weekends. But getting reasonable fares could be difficult next week,” said another travel agent from Bandra. Mumbai airport sources said that there was no chaos at the airport since flights cancelled on Friday were those operating on busy routes.
“Flights on busy routes such as Mumbai-Delhi and Mumbai-Bangalore were cancelled. Since there are many flights available on these sectors there was no ruckus at the airport,” said an airport official requesting anonymity.
The official added that flights connecting the city to small towns such as Bhubhaneshwar and Bhavnagar were operated as per schedule.