Flyers within India will have more options, with the domestic airlines planning to operate 13,951 weekly flights during winter schedule, which starts from last Sunday of October, a 14 per cent increase from the flights operated during winter schedule of 2014-15.
Most of the airlines have increased the number of flights, while some of the new comers will operate flights in the winter season for the first time. Two more airports Kadapa and Durgapur have been added to the operational airports, from which airlines plan to run regular flights during the winter schedule 2015-16.
Globally, airlines follow a winter and summer schedule. The winter timetable runs from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in March of the following year, and the summer schedule extends for the rest of the year.
As per the plan submitted by airlines with the regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation, industry leader IndiGo wants to operate 4,359 weekly flights in the current winter season, up from 17 per cent last year. Jet Airways has increased the number of flights it wants to operate by 32.4 per cent to 3,307 weekly flights.SpiceJet plans
SpiceJet and Go Air will operate fewer flights in the winter season as per their schedule submitted with the DGCA. SpiceJet plans to operate 1,855 flights a week this winter, 17 per cent less than the 2,277 it operated last winter, while Go Air flight plan would marginally reduce to 950 weekly flights.
New comer Vistara, which will operate for the first time in the winter season, has plans to run 347 flights, while another new comer Air Pegasus has plans for 126 weekly flights.
State run Air India plans to operate 1,705 weekly flights (1,676 weekly flights previously) while its subsidiary Alliance Air plans 270 weekly flights (against 210 weekly flights previously).
“These are initial proposal submitted by the airlines. We have called for the meeting on August 18 with all airlines, Airport Authority of India, Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, then would the exact number of flights would be finalised,” a DGCA official said. In the meeting, DGCA would look into the preparedness of domestic airlines to operate the flights, and also whether the crew is trained to fly under low visibility conditions.
The regulator will also look into the aspect of whether the alternate airports are equipped to allow planes to land safely in low visibility conditions, before giving its final nod. Every airline has to mention the alternate airport they will land in-case the original destination where they are to land is suddenly affected by bad weather and low visibility which makes landing and take off impossible.