In 2023, over 3,430 flights were delayed due to the bad weather conditions, this is the highest since the 2019 level when 3,893 flights had been delayed due to the weather condition. Highest number of cancellations were by IndiGo followed by Alliance Air, SpiceJet and Air India.

The total departures in 2023 were 4,57,342 of which, 3,430 flights delayed which was up from 4,02,416 departures and 2,106 delayed in 2022.

According to the Ministry’s response to the Rajya Sabha, 3,210 flights were canceled overall in 2023. Of this, IndiGo had the highest cancellations overall, with 2,185 of its flights canceled due to weather issues. However, it is also worth noting that the airline operated 6,15,633 departures. Alliance Air canceled 323 flights of 38,735 departures whereas SpiceJet and Air India which had 5,998 and 1,05,999 departures canceled 186 and 168 flights, respectively.

Fog-related disruption resulted in hundreds of delayed flights and stranded passengers. IndiGo and Mumbai airport were fined letting passengers of a diverted flight from Goa sit on the tarmac on January 16. 

While Air India and SpiceJet have each been fined ₹30 lakh by DGCA for not rostering an adequate number of CAT 3B trained pilots, leading to the diversion of flights from Delhi airport, the action follows a show-cause notice to both airlines, with fines imposed due to unsatisfactory responses.

The Ministry said on Monday that a total of 6,191 number of pilots are trained to land in CAT III-B runways, as of December 2023. Along with this, there are six airports in the country, where runway is certified for CAT III operations.”

Other reasons

Among other reasons for cancellations included technical, commercial and operational reasons.  Airlines like Akasa canceled 73 flights due to operational reasons whereas Air India canceled 89 flights.

To add to the woes for Indian carriers and passengers, two-third of the aircraft grounded in India are due to engine issues, according to the Ministry’s response. Overall, 157 aircraft are grounded by Indian carriers; 101 are grounded due to Pratt and Whitney engine issues.

Meanwhile, the number of passengers put on no fly list due to misbehavior has grown by almost 40 per cent to 108 in 2023 compared to 63 in 2022, the civil aviation ministry said.