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Even India’s most punctual airline is late a third of the time

The logo of GoAir airline is pictured on an A320neo aircraft at the builder's headquarters of Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse
Reuters/Regis Duvignau
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  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Punctuality is not the strong suit of India’s airlines.

When flying domestically, all airlines in the country are late at least a third of the time, data from sector regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) show. By comparison, the world’s most punctual airline, Panama’s Copa Airlines, is on time nine out of 10 times.

The DGCA’s analysis of on-time-performance (OTP) across four metros—Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad—in November revealed that two in three delays were “reactionary,” or due to the delayed arrival of aircraft from the previous sector.

GoAir topped the chart for the 15th month in a row in November, registering the highest OTP among scheduled domestic carriers.

“During the month, GoAir flew 14.22 lakh passengers and had 0.6 complaints per 10,000 passengers,” the company said in a Dec. 14 press release.

The total number of complaints received across airlines in the month of November was 932, according to DGCA data. On average, the number of complaints per 10,000 passengers during the time period was around 0.72. Air Deccan fared the worst at 42.6. Nearly half of all complaints were due to “flight problems.” Issues with baggage accounted for the second-biggest grievance.

Still, November was a good month for Indian aviation. Growth in domestic air passenger traffic was in double-digits (11%) for the first time this year, according to DGCA data.

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