Several passengers who had booked to travel on Kingfisher Airlines next week and even in early March began switching their bookings to other airlines on Tuesday, as the Vijay Mallya-led airline continued to cancel flights for the fourth consecutive day.
On Tuesday, 16 flights scheduled to fly out of Mumbai were cancelled. “There has been a mad rush of Kingfisher passengers switching to other airlines,” said Jay Bhatia, western region chairman, travel agents association of India (TAAI). Bhatia added that passengers travelling on busy routes such as Mumbai-Delhi in the next two to three days are spending up to Rs8000 more than their original Kingfisher ticket costs to get last minute seats on other airlines.
TAAI has asked the airline to waive off cancellations charges in passenger interest. “We have requested the airline for the waiver but no response has come yet,” added Bhatia.
Foreign tourists scheduled to take connecting flights to cities such as Jaipur, Udaipur, and Delhi from Mumbai had to revise their travel itinerary as flights suiting their schedules were sold out, added travel agents.
Many Kingfisher flights taking off from the city airport were delayed by about two hours adding to passengers’ woes.
Thane resident, Makrand Joshi for instance, was stranded at the terminal for two hours because the flight got delayed.
Airport officials said that with shortage of crew and planes, the airline was struggling to keep up with the schedules.
Kingfisher Airlines chief executive officer, Sanjay Agarwal, appeared before the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in Delhi and told reporters that the airline would submit the documents sought by the regulator by Tuesday to explain the crisis.