Flight cancellations and long delays by India's largest domestic carrier in terms of market share affected 76,612 passengers in September, according to data released by aviation regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation).

Of the total 76,612 total passengers affected, 50,945 passengers were affected after IndiGo delayed its flights by more than two hours during the month while another 25,667 passengers were affected as the Gurugram-based budget carrier cancelled its flights.

Delays of more than two hours and flight cancellations affected 30,962 passengers travelling via Air India last month, the data released by the aviation watchdog shows. The Tata Group-owned airline denied boarding to 450 flyers, the highest amongst all domestic carriers. It also spent ₹58.21 lakh on alternate flights, accommodation, meals and compensation for the affected passengers. In comparison, IndiGo, which commands a 63.4% market share, denied boarding to just 29 passengers and spent only ₹1.62 lakh on compensation.

India's domestic air passenger traffic grew 29.10% year-on-year to 1.22 crore in September compared with 1.03 crore in the same month last year. Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-September 2023 stood at 11.2 crore as against 8.74 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year.

IndiGo continued its dominance in the domestic market by flying 77.70 lakh passengers during September, followed by Vistara which flew 12.29 lakh passengers. Air India flew 11.97-lakh passengers. Vistara, a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, cornered 10% domestic market share, standing at the second spot followed by Tata Group's flagship carrier Air India (9.8%).

Vistara also had the highest passenger load factor, the percentage of available seating capacity filled with passengers, at 92%. PLF of cash-strapped SpiceJet was the second highest at 91.4%.

During September, a total of 246 passenger-related complaints were received by the scheduled domestic airlines. Alliance Air received the highest number of complaints per 10,000 passengers in September.

IndiGo clocked the highest on-time performance among all domestic carriers. The no-frills airline flies over 3 lakh passengers a day to a network of over 100 destinations, including 32 international cities.

"Last year, we flew 86 million passengers. This year we expect to fly 100 million passengers," IndiGo chief executive officer Pieter Elbers said last month.

India's largest carrier placed the biggest-ever aircraft order with French aerospace giant Airbus at the Paris Air Show. It signed a deal to buy 500 Airbus A320 aircraft, which will give it a steady stream of deliveries between 2030 and 2035. The airline operates over 300 aircraft and has previous orders of 480 aircraft which are yet to be delivered.

With this additional order of 500 aircraft for 2030-2035, IndiGo's order book has almost 1,000 aircraft yet to be delivered well into the next decade.

According to Elbers, IndiGo will double its size by the end of 2030, transforming it from a domestic carrier to a global aviation giant.

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