Two of the biggest budget carriers – Indigo and Spicejet – are at war over their On-Time Performance (OTP) status. Sources say Spicejet chief Ajay Singh met the aviation regulator, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday, and “expressed serious concern about the regulator setting up a committee to look into the OTP mechanism following a complaint by an airline.”
For the past couple of months, Spicejet has topped the monthly OTP rankings of the regulator. DGCA calculates the monthly ranking by taking the average of on-time performance of the airlines in four airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.Indigo, that usually showcases on-time performance as its core strength, had to contend for the third spot in October and fourth in November.
An angry Indigo shot off a letter to the DGCA in December questioning the method of measuring OTP in the Mumbai airport.The letter, accessed by NDTV, read, “Any inaccurate data in public domain is bound to affect general perception and goodwill of any airline including IndiGo, which will hamper the level playing field in the aviation industry. This may also create wrong perceptions amongst customers and affect customer sentiments.”
One reason for Indigo’s “poor performance” was it’s very low ratings in Mumbai. For example, in November, while Spicejet scored 81.7 per cent in Mumbai, Indigo managed just about 58.5 per cent.Following Indigo’s complaint, the DGCA set up a committee to examine the issue. But Spicejet has now taken objection to the committee and pointed out “the data collection system in Mumbai airports has been for years” and even in Dellhi, the airline has topped as per latest data.
“As long as IndiGo had the best OTP, the mechanism to calculate on-time performance by the DGCA and airports was perfect,” said an airline official. Another airline was more scathing when asked, “Tomorrow, if an airline questions the passenger traffic data, will the DGCA constitute a committee to investigate that too?”