India's biggest low-cost carrier, IndiGo, which had earlier reported only 340 technical snags to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation
(DGCA) in 2017, recently revised the data to report 14,628 snags in its fleet during the year – an increase of over 4,200 per cent. While the number now reported by IndiGo
is clearly the highest among Indian carriers, the airline might still not be the worst performer on this count.
Earlier, in March, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had said the total number of snags across airlines in 2017 stood at 24,791. The Economic Times quoted IndiGo
as saying that the DGCA
had asked it to be stricter in reporting glitches, and that led to the huge increase in its revised numbers.
Numerically, 14,628 snags in a year seem to suggest an enormous problem at hand for IndiGo, but a closer look at other airlines’ performance might tell a different story. While the snags in IndiGo
planes was higher than other carriers, the number of flights undertaken by the airlines was also much higher than the others.
During 2017, IndiGo undertook 311,809 domestic flights and reported 14,628 snags. That translates into a rate of 4.69 per cent of flights developing snags. By comparison, Air India undertook 113,263 flights (both domestic and international) and reported 4,563 snags – only a little better than IndiGo with a rate of 4.03 per cent.
Jet Airways, on the other hand, reported 9,689 glitches in the 156,700 flights that it operated (domestic and international) during 2017. It implies 6.18 per cent of the flights that the airline operated experienced snags. In other words, Jet Airways’ rate of snags in overall flights undertaken is 1.5 percentage points higher than IndiGo’s, even as the former flew only half as many flights as the latter during the year.
If the proportion of snags in the overall number of flights were taken as the barometer, the performance of SpiceJet, Air Asia and Vistara (both domestic and international) would be similar to that of IndiGo. While SpiceJet
reported 4,903 snags in 119,076 flights (4.12 per cent), Air Asia reported 1,367 in 28,172 flights (4.85 per cent). Vistara’s rate of snags was 4.01 per cent – 1,225 in 30,541 flights.
appears to be the best performer among Indian airlines, having reported 1,888 snags in 64,319 flights (2.94 per cent).