IndiGo Faces Hurdles on Numerous Fronts

By Consultants Review Team Tuesday, 16 January 2024

InterGlobe aircraft, the largest domestic civil aircraft operator with a 54% market share, is facing challenges on numerous fronts. The airline, which operates under the brand IndiGo, has recently been embroiled in controversy, with furious customers assaulting its employees in Delhi and fliers turning the Mumbai International Airport runway into a dining location. To make matters worse, the Civil Aviation Ministry, in collaboration with the Mumbai Airport Authority, issued a show cause notice to it today.

On January 14, after a 13-hour delay, a passenger on board an IndiGo aircraft heading for Goa attacked the captain while still on the ground at Delhi International Airport. While the airline blamed the dense fog that prevailed at the airport, a co-passenger who videotaped the incident and shared it on a social media platform subsequently said that the airline workers had been uncooperative and neatly placed the blame on the disruptive passenger. 

"On January 14, 2024, IndiGo flight operations were impacted due to low visibility and dense fog conditions across North India." This had a knock-on effect on our activities all day. "Our staff kept passengers informed of all delays and cancellations across airports and made every effort to assist passengers," IndiGo said in a statement, adding that "during the announcement of a flight delay by the first officer of flight 6E2175, a passenger assaulted the first officer." 

While the passenger was placed on the no-fly list for 30 days and turned over to police, Evgenia Belskaia, a Russian model who posted the footage of the incident on Instagram, stated, "It's wrong to hit the pilot, but why is he blaming the passengers?" Everyone was frightened, and instead of helping them, you made matters worse."

If that wasn't enough, the civil aviation ministry chastised the airline when, on the same day, passengers from one of its flights rushed out of the plane, sat on the tarmac, and ate their meals on the spot in Mumbai. The odd occurrence occurred when a flight from Goa to Delhi was redirected to Mumbai due to poor visibility in the national capital region. "The flight was diverted to Mumbai due to poor visibility in Delhi. We sincerely apologies to our clients and are now investigating the matter. "We will take the necessary steps to avoid such incidents in the future," the airline stated.

That did not stop the authorities from issuing show cause orders to IndiGo and the Mumbai Airport Authority (MAIL). According to the complaints, "both Indigo and MIAL were not proactive in anticipating the situation and making the appropriate facilitation arrangements for passengers at the airport." The government has asked for responses by January 16 (today). IndiGo has not yet responded to the show cause notice.

In the midst of all this chaos, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given comprehensive SOPs to airlines, advising them to consider canceling flights that are projected to be delayed for more than three hours.

The recent troubles have hit IndiGo at a time when the airline is struggling with capacity due to engine issues. Starting this quarter, an additional 35 aircraft will be grounded owing to a powder metal issue with the Pratt Whitney engines. It had previously stated that they will be added to the 40 aircrafts that were already grounded. 

Analysts at Geojit BNP Paribas believe it will have an impact on IndiGo's available seat kilometers in the near future. "The Pratt & Whitney (P&W) metal powder issue will have an immediate impact on the overall AKS." "Management has indicated that the company will seek to mitigate engine-related issues through the secondary market," they wrote in a report.

IndiGo, on the other hand, is taking steps to compensate for the fall in aircraft numbers. "We are actively negotiating with P&W to address the engine supply issue." As of December 15th, we have 341 planes in our fleet. We have taken a variety of steps to increase our capacity, including leasing and retaining aircraft. We have been steadily adding new planes to our fleet, with nearly one arriving each week. "This consistent influx of new capacity provides us with a natural hedge against some of the AOGs (aircraft on ground) caused by the powder metal issue," it argues.


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