Paramount Airways and Jet Airways had the highest number of passenger complaints for March 2010, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) figures. The industry average of the number of passenger-related complaints was 4.5 per 10,000 passengers carried for March.
While Paramount clocked 15.2 passenger complaints per 10,000, Jet comes second with 8.7. The two airlines also had the highest number of cancellations, with Paramount accounting for 6.9 per cent, Jet Airways for 3.9, while its low-cost carrier (LCC) JetLite accounted for 4.4 per cent, much higher than the overall cancellation rate of 1.9 per cent.
Gokul Chaudhri, partner, BMR Advisors, believes the figures are a cause for concern. “The unusually high feedback, especially for a full service carrier (FSC) like Jet, is a cause of surprise and concern, given that Jet originally set the standards of service in Indian aviation,” he said.
Jet Airways and JetLite together have the largest market share within domestic scheduled airlines at 26 per cent, while Paramount has the lowest market share at 1.3 per cent. Paramount Airways operates predominantly within the four southern Indian states.
Three LCCs, that is, JetLite, GoAir and SpiceJet, also have a higher than industry average number of passenger complaints with a complaint rate of 5.7, 6.9 and 7.5 per 10,000 passengers carried, respectively.
A search at the website of the Indian Consumer Complaints Forum revealed that most of the complaints against Jet are by irate passengers about lost or mishandled baggage, non-refund against cancellation of tickets and non-redemption of Jet Privilege miles. Paramount, on the other hand, had the maximum number of complaints about its customer service, flight delays and non-refund of cancelled tickets.
Three airlines with a better than industry average record in passenger complaints are IndiGo, Kingfisher Airlines and the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (Nacil), which flies under the Air India brand, with passenger complaints of 2.2, 1.9 and 0.9, respectively.
Kingfisher, Air India and Jet Airways currently also have international operations, while SpiceJet is planning to go global from June onwards.