Akasa Air: Flight cancellations and delayed refunds raising frustrations

An Akasa Air Boeing 737-8-200 parked at dusk.
Photo Credit: Akasa Air

India’s youngest airline Akasa Air is drawing a growing number of complaints, with several passengers taking to social media platforms to express their frustration on cancelled flights and delays in their refunds.

Akasa Air celebrated their one-year anniversary recently and within a span of 12 months the airline has been able to take delivery of its 20th aircraft, making it eligible to fly International routes according to the laws by Indian Government.

The airline has developed a reputation for its on-time performance and its hard product, which includes their seats, inflight menu and so forth. You can find our trip report on Akasa Air here.

An Akasa Air Boeing 737 parked on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Akasa Air

Rising level of complaints

Fast forward to 2023, and the airline seems to be losing its charm. In recent months the airlines social media has been flooded with complaints from passengers whose flights have been either cancelled or rescheduled.

There are also many complaints highlighting delay in issuing refund for the cancelled flights. This comes at a time when the airline is restricting its network and facing shortage of pilots, the airline has also grounded a few aircrafts to fit them with new seats.

Fleet and aircrews

Akasa wanted to aggressively add new aircraft to its fleet; hence the airline took delivery of any Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which was available.

Essentially, these aircraft had been destined for an airline which had either not taken delivery of the aircraft, or had shut down its operations, like Jet Airways).

Speaking on the issue, an executive from Akasa Air told MoneyControl that the carrier has faced an issue of pilots not serving their notice period after quitting, resulting in some rostering issues which have caused flight cancellations.

“These issues will be resolved soon, we have grounded some planes temporarily to fit them with new seats and these planes are expected to return to service in September,” said the spokesperson.

The pilot issues are being dealt with, and Akasa has subsequently sent legal notices to 19 pilots who are now working for Air India Express.

Around 11 aircraft out of the 20 are currently grounded for replacing the seats, airline has cancelled nearly 15 flights, we also reported earlier as to how Akasa completely shut down its operations on Bengaluru – Chennai route.

AviationSource writer Gaurav Gowda travels frequently on this route – roughly 4 round trips a month – and had booked with Akasa for a several round trips.

The airline had cancelled the tickets only a week before his travel date, which forced him to book flights with another airline for a price which was almost double what he would pay normally.

One passenger (above) expressed her frustration on Twitter/X as to how the airline initially rescheduled her flight for 4 hours and then again rescheduled the same flight.

After 3 reschedulings the airline finally cancelled her flight. Soon after that, when the passenger went to rebook, she could see the same flight number (QP 1104).  

However, the twist was that the airline had increased the ticket price, which was costing the passenger almost double of what she had initially paid.

Though the airline has blamed the pilots for leaving without serving their mandatory notice period as the reason for this disruption, but the poor customer service is sadly breaking the trust of passengers on the airline.

By AviationSource News 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
You Might Also Enjoy