The CEO said that while the network of 2,000 daily flights may still be seeing delays, the flight operations are expected to be completely normal by next week
MUMBAI: IndiGo will be working on ways to work better avoid chaos that the airline’s passengers had to face on Sunday due to dense fog in northern India, CEO Peter Elbers said.
“We are going to collectively… not only in Indigo itself, but even with the ecosystem; air traffic control, airports, airports authorities, operators, security personnel, evaluate ways on how we can do better,” Elbers said, two days after the aviation authorities slapped a fine of ₹1.2crore on IndiGo for violating norms on Sunday.
“We had tough days since the fog arrived in the Northern part of India… we probably had the worst fog in many years. From our 86 destinations, roughly one third is in northern India. Hence, if northern India is under the blanket of fog, then we have a challenge together. We had to collectively deal with accumulation of flights and its cascading effects”, he said.
On Sunday, passengers on an Indigo flight from Goa to Delhi refused to get off the aircraft after it was diverted to Mumbai due to poor visibility in Delhi, they instead sat on the tarmac and had dinner. The flight eventually left for Delhi after a delay of 12 hours.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) on Tuesday then issued notices to the Mumbai airport operator for violating norms and to IndiGo for mistreating passengers by not providing basic amenities during flight diversions after the viral video showed passengers dining on the tarmac.
“We will review our operations along with the industry to avoid operational disruptions going forward… We have updated our navigation system two days ago,” he said.
The CEO said that while the network of 2,000 daily flights may still be seeing delays, the flight operations are expected to be completely normal by next week.
According to the data issued by the civil aviation ministry, the airline’s on time performance (OTP) was noted to be the lowest; 43.7%, as on Wednesday.
“Flight cancellation and delays on January 14 have caused a cascading effect on our OTP over the last week,” he said, adding that the airline needs to expand its digital network to make sure its frontline staff is aware correct information that must be passed on to customers.
On Thursday, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said Sunday’s tarmac incident was a shameful one and he does not mind accepting it.
Safety and the security of the passengers is the primary focus of civil aviation and hence a meeting was convened past midnight after the incident came to light, the minister said.
“The fact the passengers were inconvenienced, the fact that they had to eat on the tarmac, the fact that security had been compromised across all points was unacceptable. Within 3-4 hours, notices were issued and within 24 hours of the notices being issued, the necessary penalties have been levied,” Scindia said.