No overcapacity in Indian market: IndiGo chief

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 10, 2012


Budget carrier IndiGo feels that it is wrong to say that there is overcapacity in the Indian aviation market. The comments come even as the Government is said to be considering various measures to avoid overcrowding in the aviation market.

Addressing a press conference, the airline's President, Mr Aditya Ghosh, said that the airline plans to add 12 aircraft during this calendar year, to take it fleet size to 60. The financial surveillance carried out by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently raised several questions on IndiGo's safety record.

The DGCA had also suggested a review of the fleet expansion plans of various airlines. IndiGo ordered 100 aircraft in 2005 and another 150 last year. Delivery of the first 100 aircraft will be completed by 2015. Deliveries of another 150 will begin in 2016.

Responding to the DGCA's report, Mr Ghosh, said, “We are not the only ones which are adding capacity. We have shared the (aircraft) delivery schedule (with DGCA). This business requires more planes, more growth. If we can run it profitably, the others can too.”

The latest passenger data released by the DGCA showed that all the airlines have added 17-18 per cent capacity in November, while demand grew by 10-11 per cent. This is the fourth month in a row when capacity addition outstripped demand.

Maintaining that they had replied to all the concerns raised by the regulator, Mr Ghosh said there was a “time gap” as the reportage on the DGCA study did not cover replies given by the airlines. The DGCA study had castigated IndiGo for “premature engine removals” in a short span of 10 months last year, apart from suppressing information on aircraft incidents which are minor accidents that do not cause major damage to aircraft or lead to injury or fatality.

Mr Ghosh maintained that the engine removals were carried out in compliance of Airworthiness Directives of the US Federal Aviation Administration. “There has been no grounding of aircraft as has happened to some other airlines,” he said.

DGCA officials said that a detailed response on the financial services audit has been received on Tuesday and is being examined. On the other hand the DGCA, Mr E.K. Bharat Bhushan, had told newspersons that he is satisfied with the response on premature withdrawal of engines.

On DGCA's findings that IndiGo's investigation procedures were “improper” and that it had closed probe into several incidents either without regulatory approval, Mr Ghosh said the airline submitted Daily Defect Reports to the Airworthiness department of DGCA and “there is 100 per cent reporting of all maintenance actions.”

Regarding shortage of pilot instructors and examiners and backlog of training, Mr Ghosh said, “We have consciously ‘over hired' pilots, especially highly trained and experienced ones.” The airline currently has 50 Training Captains while another 44 were in process of being hired or getting qualified as trainers.

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Published on January 10, 2012
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