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UDAN scheme flight operators receive highest rate of flier complaints

Aviation regulator’s report for May said Air Odisha, followed by Air Deccan, had the maximum number of complaints in the month.

mumbai Updated: Jun 21, 2018 11:48 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,UDAN scheme,operators
Air Odisha received 34.6 complaints per 10,000 passengers flown, while Air Deccan registered 21.6 complaints per 10,000 passengers. (HT Photo/Representational Image )

Airlines that largely operate flights under the government’s Udey Desh ka Aam Naagarik (UDAN) scheme have reported the highest rate of passenger complaints. The scheme aims to improve air connectivity to smaller cities.

Aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation’s report for May said that Air Odisha, followed by Air Deccan had maximum number of complaints in the month.

Air Odisha received 34.6 complaints per 10,000 passengers flown and Air Deccan registered 21.6 complaints per 10,000 passengers.

Air India was the third worst, with 1.7 complaints per 10,000 passengers. The largest airline by passenger numbers, Indigo had 0.3 complaints per 10,000 passengers and Vistara, 0.1.

A senior Air Odisha official said, “We are trying our best to minimise inconvenience and complaints from passengers.”

In the first phase of the UDAN scheme in March 2017, Air Odisha got permissions to operate 50 flights and Air Deccan 34. In March, when operations by the two did not meet the commitments on the number of flights, the Airports Authority of India had issued notices asking them to commence operations.

Airline officials said that since UDAN flights connect smaller airports, which have less sophisticated air navigation aids, delays and cancellations are more in these sectors.

“Due to this, the minimum visibility of 5km is required to land at airports. Hence, flights stand cancelled due to poor visibility, which leads to passengers complaining,” the official said. He also said that as there is shortage of qualified Indian pilots.

Aloke Bajpai, ixigo CEO and co-founder said, “With people planning their holidays, demand for flight tickets is on the rise. Despite the anticipated spike in May, growth in comparison to the same time last year has only been 17%, as opposed to 26% in April and 28% in March. This is owing to the increase in fuel prices and travel in particular sectors becoming expensive. Many airlines are seeing the increased demand as a great opportunity to attract travellers.”

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 11:47 IST