IndiGo, India’s prominent airline, is grappling with disruptions caused by intense fog in northern India, with CEO Pieter Elbers expressing confidence in a swift recovery. Elbers acknowledged the challenge posed by the “worst fog in many years”, and called for industry-wide solutions to address the issue of fog affecting numerous stations in northern India.

“I would expect that the cancellation of flights is completely back to normal, provided no more fog. But it should be completely back to normal by the weekend and in due course of next week,” Elbers stated, emphasising the uncontrollable nature of weather challenges.

The impact of the fog on IndiGo’s operations has been significant. “Fog over north India affected nearly 1/3rd of IndiGo’s flight operations,” said Elbers. He outlined plans for a comprehensive review of operations, in collaboration with the industry to prevent future disruptions. Additionally, he highlighted the recent update to the airline’s navigation system.

Enhancing customer experience

At the Wings India event in Hyderabad, IndiGo detailed its digital transformation programme aimed at enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency. The revamp of the Passenger Services System (PSS) is a key aspect, with over 200 product enhancements focussing on improving customer experience and contributing to ancillary revenues, global distribution capabilities, and partnerships.

Elbers addressed concerns about the airline’s on-time performance (OTP), stating: “The airline will improve its OTP by next week, returning to earlier standards.” IndiGo aims to surpass 80 per cent OTP soon, following a week of disruptions where dense fog led to a 44 per cent delay in flights.

Regarding fines totaling ₹1.2 crore for various offenses, including an incident of passengers eating on the tarmac during a delayed flight, Elbers assured corrective actions. “IndiGo is working on reiterating its standard operating procedure to its employees to ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again,” he affirmed.

As part of its growth strategy, IndiGo is evaluating the new Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) norms and plans to add necessary pilots to support the expansion of its network. The airline remains committed to adapting and evolving to ensure a robust and reliable operational framework despite recent challenges.