Fewer domestic flights this summer

Indian airlines are set to deploy 10% fewer flights this summer, with only two— IndiGo and Vistara—slated to mount more flights than last year and four marking a decline.

The summer schedule, which will run from 26 March through 28 October, will see airlines deploy 22,907 flights per week, compared to 25,309 flights in 2022, showed data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

While IndiGo and Vistara will have more flights than last year, Go First, Air India, SpiceJet, and AirAsia India will mark a decline. The 22,907 weekly flight departures will cover 110 airports. Out of these, Jeypore (Odisha), Cooch Behar (West Bengal), Hollongi (Arunachal Pradesh), Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Pakyong (Sikkim) and Mopa in Goa are the new airports added to the schedule. However, airlines are still to propose flights to Ziro (Arunachal Pradesh) and Hindon (Ghaziabad) airports under the summer schedule.

IndiGo, the largest domestic carrier with about 56% market share, plans 11,465 flight departures per week, up from 11,130 last year, marking a 3% increase. Vistara, which is set to be merged with Air India, will record a nearly 7% rise at 1,856 flights compared to 1,741 last year. Meanwhile, SpiceJet plans to deploy 2,240 flights, a 47% drop from last year. Go First will deploy 40% less flights this year at 1,538 weekly flight departures.

Air India has proposed to operate 2178 flight departures per week, a 11% drop from 2,456 flights last year. AirAsia India, now part of Air India group, will operate 9% less flights at 1,456 weekly flights.

Most airlines are facing issues in capacity expansion due to supply chain constraints while a few are also facing financial stress in expanding their fleet, an industry expert said.

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