With IndiGo Dominating Domestic Air Traffic, Is There Room For Errors With Frequent Flight Fiascos?

Once upon a time, this same airline used to have the best 'on-time performance' and is now mitigating frequent flight delays & cancellations.

by Tejashee Kashyap
With IndiGo Dominating Domestic Air Traffic, Is There Room For Errors With Frequent Flight Fiascos?

The recent aviation news regarding flight delays and cancellations may leave you aghast. And India’s beloved IndiGo Airlines seems to top it. From unnoticed flight cancellations, multiple delays, and services impacted, the airline is currently facing a dent in its image. Once upon a time, this same airline used to have the best ‘on-time performance’ and is now mitigating flight delays and cancellations. Despite all of these, IndiGo topped domestic passenger traffic with 9.19 crore passengers and a significant market share of 60.5%. Yet with a market of 60.5%, poor management has given way to an image dent.

IndiGo Dominates Domestic Air Traffic

According to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), overall domestic passenger volumes for the year ending December 31, 2022, were 12.32 crore. Furthermore, domestic air passenger traffic increased by 23.36% in December 2023, totalling 1.37 crore passengers, compared to 1.27 crore carried by local carriers in 2022. IndiGo topped domestic passenger traffic with 9.19 crore passengers, accounting for a significant market share of 60.5%.

According to DGCA figures, Akasa Air carried 62.32 lakh passengers, accounting for 4.1% of the market. Notably, Akasa Air had the best on-time record among the four major metro airports—Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore—with an average of 72.7% of its flights taking off or departing on time in 2023, according to data.

Coming to 2024, IndiGo’s performance dipped. Videos and photographs showed people being stranded as well as travellers sitting on the tarmac, both of which were related to Indigo and occurred at Mumbai airport. Hit by Delhi’s unprecedented fog issues with zero visibility caused nearly 400 aircraft to be delayed, diverted, or cancelled. Another instance occurred on Sunday when a passenger on IndiGo aircraft 6E2175, which was travelling from Delhi to Goa, attacked the airline’s first officer as he was reporting a delay in takeoff.

According to Ministry of Civil Aviation data, IndiGo scored bottom in terms of ‘on-time performance’ on January 14, with only 21% of flights arriving on time.

Also Read: Videos Of IndiGo Flyers Eating On Tarmac Go Viral; Civil Aviation Ministry Issues Show Cause Notice

But, Why Let Your Image Take A Hit?


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A post shared by Abhineet Mishra (@abhineetmishraa)

Given the recent fog issue, flight delays and cancellations are understandable. Airlines are unable to control many airport delays. Therefore, their only option is to handle the consequences, where IndiGo has fallen short. Some responsibilities come with being the market leader. However IndiGo has performed poorly when it came to managing delays, interacting with people, providing adequate notice, and being open and honest. Take, for example, the flight fiasco case of actor Ranveer Shorey. A January 14 IndiGo flight took off 10 hours after the originally scheduled time. Yet, the actor and his team were not intimated before reaching the airport.

But is it just because of the fog issue? Before the arrival of winter, the passengers had schedule challenges, a shortage of crew, and pilots, and other issues during their flight experience with the airline. In a recent video shared by a content creator and comedian, Abhineet Mishra faced a similar issue of flight delay. Inquiring further about the delay, he learned that it was caused by a staff shortage at IndiGo and not because of fog issues. In similar instances, although the weather had played a part in the fiasco, the airline continues to dispatch contradictory information to passengers and employees.

IndiGo Airlines serves all cities, whether Tier 2 or Tier 3. Their network of locations is extensive. However, given the scope of operations they have, it appears that the management has fallen short and the impact has been hard. All airlines and airports have been affected equally. But, IndiGo’s impact on passengers and themselves has taken a huge hit. Being the market leader for several years, the room for errors like this doesn’t play well.

Excelling in the Indian aviation market space is an intricate task and is fiercely competitive. Low-cost carriers have intensified the competition. Surviving in this cutthroat environment requires airlines to constantly innovate without compromising on service quality. And IndiGo clearly requires a combination of strategic foresight, operational efficiency, and adaptability.

Cover image credits: Website/IndiGo

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