Most Domestic Passengers Worried About Flight Safety After Recent Incidents: Survey

Most Indians traveling on domestic flights are worried about safety owing to a number of incidents of late, according to a survey by Moneycontrol and LocalCircles. According to the poll, conducted between July 6 and 7, about three of every four domestic passengers are worried about safety during air travel.

Around 21,000 people participated in the poll, which came after a number of incidents were reported on smoke, engine shutdowns or technical snags involving IndiGo, Vistara and SpiceJet flights.

According to the survey, nearly half of the passengers think the incidents were due to inadequate maintenance owing to the financial crunch amid record inflation.

About 42 percent of passengers who participated in the survey said they were worried while traveling by domestic airlines in general, while 35 percent said they were concerned only when they were flying on select airlines. Only 16 percent of respondents said they were not worried at all about flight safety.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently slapped a show-cause notice on SpiceJet following eight incidents in the last 20 days. Around 44 percent of the participants in the LocalCircles survey traveling on domestic routes said they were avoiding SpiceJet flights owing to safety concerns

Rajiv Mehra, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, told CNBCTV18.com that 10-15 percent of people who are aware of the recent incidents of SpiceJet want to book their tickets on other airlines.

“Because of all these things are happening and especially with one carrier at the moment, people are indicating they do not want to travel with the airline. Those who are aware, want to book tickets on other flights. Those who do not know, don ‘t care, “he said.

However, overall, there is hardly any impact on bookings of these incidents, he said.

Himank Tripathi, president of external affairs and investor relations at EaseMyTrip, also said there has been no impact of recent incidents on bookings for now, but things may change.

“Bookings continue to increase. There is clearly a positive sentiment. Demand is higher during long weekends. Maybe in the coming weeks, I will have a further update or change in my statement,” he said.

Siraj Ansari, president of Tour Operators Association of Telangana, said only about 35 percent of passengers were news savvy while the rest did not follow most developments and, hence, there’s no fear or change in preference of airlines for them.

SpiceJet in a response to Moneycontrol said that the airline reported the highest load factor in the industry for over 30 consecutive months indicates that it is the most preferred carrier in India. Comments from IndiGo, Air India and GoFirst were awaited.

First Published: IST

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