Airlines cut flights to contain losses

July 9th, 2008 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Rising fuel prices, high operational costs and decreasing passenger loads have forced major airlines to reduce flights on domestic routes. An Air India (AI) official said it has cancelled over 32 flights on account of high operational costs and high aviation fuel charges. The decision was taken at a meeting in Mumbai recently.

“There has been no formal announcement on flight cancellation as yet. But it’s a fact flights are being cancelled to minimise operational losses,” the official said.

India’s biggest private airline, Jet Airways, has cancelled more than 20 flights because of dwindling passenger load, while SpiceJet, a Delhi-based low-cost carrier, has cancelled about 10 flights.

Kingfisher Airlines has deferred the launch of international operations from August to September though its spokesperson Prakash Mirpuri said this had more to do with government clearance than high operational costs.

Simplifly Deccan, the low-cost carrier under the Kingfisher umbrella, has grounded about 50 flights on its short-haul routes.

Low cost airline GoAir has similarly reduced the number of flights to about 800 a month in the ongoing lean season from about 1,000 flights earlier.

Interestingly, the airlines have also reduced flights in lucrative sectors such as the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes.

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