Domestic airline Go First has been facing customer ire over frequent delays in flight departures and abrupt cancellations. Many passengers have been taken to social media to express their anger over flight delays and sudden cancellations. The airline had to issue refunds to around 18,000 passengers in October for delaying its flights for more than 2 hours.
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CNBC-TV18 learns the airline is operating with a significantly smaller fleet. A large chunk of the airline's fleet is grounded due to engine-related issues. According to the fleet tracking website, 28 of the 59 Go First aircraft are parked and only 31 planes are operational.
But according to the airline spokesperson Go First is currently operating 32 aircraft and about 25 to 26 planes are grounded. Go First has also confirmed it is expecting Pratt and Whitney to deliver some engines, which should put most of the grounded planes in the air.
But there are consequences when nearly half of an airline's fleet is on the ground. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that Go First had to curtail daily operations by up to 40 percent due to limited aircraft.
Multiple sources said that operating lesser flights have impacted the airline's cash flows, leading to delays in salaries mainly for those in the higher salary bracket.
The airline's on-time performance has dropped from the top spot in January to the bottom in October. Its market share has also plunged sharply by nearly 300 basis points in 10 months.
The airline had to issue refunds to around 18,000 passengers in October for delays beyond two hours. A DGCA official told CNBC-TV18 that the situation at Go First has now improved. The airline expects things to get better with the arrival of engines and normalisation of the fleet in use.