Indian low-cost carrier GoAir cancelled several flights on Wednesday, December 25, due to delayed delivery of aircraft and grounding of two planes over maintenance issues, leaving several passengers stranded.
According to industry sources, delay in plane delivery and maintenance work on two aircraft were major factor behind cancellations. The airline has been cancelling over 15 domestic flights for the past few days.
Other factors, like inclement weather, low visibility and anti-CAA protests in certain parts of the country, have also aggravated the situation for the airline.
"Due to inclement weather in North India, GoAir experienced extensive flight delays and diversions leading to cancellations of flights as our crew approached it's Flight Duty Time Limits (FDTL) in last 2-3 days," said a GoAir spokesperson.
"This was further exacerbated due to the Citizenship Amendment Act protests, wherein our members were unable to report for duty," the spokesperson added.
Around 19 domestic GoAir flights were cancelled on Tuesday and 18 on Monday. Many passengers complained that they were notified about the cancellation only an hour before the scheduled flight timing.
Several stranded passengers took to social media to bash GoAir for cancelling the flight operations without providing any alternatives. However, GoAir had said: "Alternative flight arrangements are being explored to minimise the impact. Free cancellation and re-booking options have been offered to all the affected passengers."
GoAir accused of violating DGCA norms
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also found that the airline breached Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) guidelines by making the pilots and crew work overtime. GoAir is accused of violating time limits prescribed under FDTL by the civil aviation body.
The DGCA has initiated a probe against the airlines for nearly 40 violations of norms. The flight crew was reportedly asked to work for four consecutive days without a break. The aviation analysts said that the airline authorities and crew members should be penalised for putting the passenger's lives in danger by flouting timeline.
(With agency inputs.)