A year after the civil aviation ministry began exposing airlines whose flights are frequently delayed (delayed on 20% of the times they were operated in a month), the effort has begun showing positive results.
In April, the city airport witnessed 255 such flights – the second lowest since April 2011 though March saw the best performance with just 218 such flights, according to data released by the ministry on Saturday.
Last month’s figures were also way below the monthly average of 318 flights.
In April 2011, the ministry had asked the Mumbai airport operator to draw a list of frequently delayed flights every month and publish the list on its website so that fliers can decide the airlines to avoid. The move was also aimed to discipline airlines.
“Airlines have realised that passengers cannot be fooled beyond a point. Barring the months when bad weather disrupts air traffic most domestic carriers have made efforts to avoid repeated delays,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official.
According to the data frequent delay of scheduled departures has come down but the number of arrivals running behind the schedule are still high. In April, 147 city-bound flights were regularly delayed as against 109 scheduled departures. “Unlike departures, arriving flights are not entirely within our control. Normally arriving flights are delayed by congestion, poor weather and technical snags which are beyond our control,” said a flight operations department official with a private airline.
Ministry officials added that the number of occasion a flight gets delayed now is less than a year ago. “For the first few months several flights were featuring on the delay list were delayed every time they were operated in a month. But now that has changed,” added the ministry official.
The country’s leading domestic carrier, Jet Airways, operated the highest number of frequently delayed arrivals and departure. Fifty-five city-bound flight operated by the airline and 39 of its departures were featured in the list.