1,171 flights were cancelled due to technical reasons in 2022; IndiGo at top of the list

Indian airlines

As many as 1,171 flights were cancelled due to technical reasons in 2022, according to the civil aviation ministry. In 2021, the number was 931 while it was 1,481 in 2020, as per the DGCA data provided in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh on Monday.

The details of flights cancelled due to technical reasons are those submitted by airlines to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

“The responsibility for maintaining the aircraft lies with the airline which is required to ensure that the aircraft is maintained as per the maintenance programme approved by the DGCA,” Singh said.

He said DGCA ensures that the airline and the maintenance organisation continue to comply with the regulatory requirements against which they have been initially approved through a system of surveillance, audits, spot checks and night surveillance, among others.

“In case of non-compliance, DGCA ensures that rectification steps are taken by the airlines/ maintenance organisation. DGCA initiates enforcement actions against organisation/ personnel in case violations are found, which may include warning, suspension, and cancellation, including the imposition of financial penalty,” he added.

Over the past three years, IndiGo has had the highest number of flight cancellations due to a ‘technical glitch’ followed by Air India and SpiceJet. In 2022, IndiGo cancelled 613 flights, whereas Air India cancelled 122 flights and SpiceJet cancelled 151 flights. 

A Rajya Sabha response stated that IndiGo, which operates the highest number of average daily flights in India, has also cancelled the highest number of flights. In 2020, the airline cancelled 155 flights due to a technical glitch, followed by 188 flights in 2021 and a multi-fold rise of 613 in 2022. 

Recently privatised Air India too had a large chunk of its flights cancelled due to technical glitches. In 2020, when Air India was owned by the government it cancelled 831 flights. In 2021 too it cancelled 316 flights. It was privatised last year after which its cancellations due to technical glitches dropped to 122 flights. 

Another government airline, Alliance Air had cancelled zero flights due to technical glitches in 2020, however, it rose to 56 flights in 2021 and 166 in 2022.  SpiceJet cancelled 104 flights in 2020, followed by 136 flights in 2021 and 151 in 2022. 

Over the past three years, a total of 1,481 flights, 931 flights and 1,171 have been cancelled due to technical glitches.