LONDON – According to a report posted by the Economic Times, Air India has now topped low-cost airline IndiGo for a third consecutive month for on-time performance (OTP).
Both Air India have an acknowledged policy of performance with respect to the OTP parameters. IndiGo uphold punctuality as one of their branding hallmarks, and similarly, since its acquisition by the Tata Group, Air India similarly identify OTP as a primary factor for improvement.
September’s statistics showed Air India with a three-point margin over IndiGo for OTP, showing 87.1% overall on-time performance compared to 84.1%.
This compared with a mid-year figure which showed IndiGo held a slight margin, topping Air India by 84.5% compared to 83.1% in June this year.
Speaking on the matter of the overall performance improvements, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson told the Economic Times:
“We have invested in IT systems to improve the capability of aircraft predictive maintenance. We want to ensure the right systems are in place to monitor the turnaround times of aircraft. There is no magic bullet. We have to ensure that all systems are working perfectly.”
Recognising their shortfall, IndiGo has made changes to its flight crew and cabin crew operating parameters. A key performance change has been the instruction to cabin crews of the requirement to close aircraft cabin doors within sixty seconds of the last passenger boarding the flight.
Cabin doors were also required to be closed within a timeframe of 15 minutes before the scheduled flight departure time.
A further instruction to flight crew was the requirement that they were seated within the aircraft 35 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.
A further move by the low-cost carrier has been to speed up its process of hiring ground support staff after the pandemic lull period.
IndiGo domestic network expansion
IndiGo have recently embarked on an expansion of their domestic regional route services, having expanded their network connectivity with the addition of new routes and the bolstering of other existing domestic services.
In the past month, the airline has made a further expansion to its domestic route network with the launch of direct flight services between Mumbai and Gwalior, and also direct flights between Indore and Chandigarh.
The recent route additions followed last months announcement of eight new regional route services.
Whether this progressive expansion of domestic services and connectivity has a bearing on the slight fall-off in on-time performance by IndiGo is unclear.
What is clear however is the carrier’s proactive move to strengthen its operating parameters to shore up the slight drop in OTP.