National

Stranded passenger situation returns to normal at IGIA

Agency | March 14, 2019 12:38 PM

NEW DELHI:  A day after aviation regulator DGCA asked airlines to ground all Boeing 737 Max aircraft, a semblance of normalcy seem to be gradually returning at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here on Thursday.

A Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) official said the situation at the IGIA was manageable on Thursday as most of the cancellations were "planned".

SpiceJet, which is the most affected airline from the suspension of the aircraft, pushed in additional services on Thursday from its fleet of Bombardier Q4 and Boeing 737 NG that allowed it to accommodate most passengers that faced cancellations as 14 flights using the Max remained cancelled for the second day.

"Of the 76 planes in our fleet, 64 aircraft are in operations and we are confident of minimising the inconvenience to our passengers and attain normalcy in our operations," SpiceJet said in a statement on Wednesday

Jet Airways passengers have been informed about cancellations much ahead as the airline is regularly grounding aircraft due to non-payment of lease rentals.

So, the passengers have not faced problems due to grounding of the Max.

Meanwhile, IndiGo and GoAir seem to be making the most from the cancellations by seeing surge in bookings. In fact, Indigo is offering discounts on spot bookings to attract customers on some of its routes.

Following a global trend of grounding Boeing 737 MAX aircraft due to the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight of the same model on Sunday killing all 157 people on board, India finally suspended the plane's operations and over-flight permissions on Wednesday evening.

In India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate 17 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft -- Spice (12) and Jet (five) -- though the latter's fleet was already grounded due to various reasons.

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