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Air India has beaten IndiGo for the third consecutive month as India's top "on-time" airline. Since the takeover by the Tata Group, Air India has identified on-time performance (OTP) as a primary improvement goal, according to a report in the Economic Times (ET). Being punctual was one of the branding strategies of IndiGo.
In September, 87.1 per cent of flights of Air India were on time as compared to IndiGo's 84.1 per cent. This was 83.1 and 84.5 per cent, respectively, in June, the report added.
"We have invested in IT systems to improve the capability of aircraft predictive maintenance. We want to ensure the right systems are in place to monitor the turnaround times of aircraft. There is no magic bullet. We have to ensure that all systems are working perfectly," Air India CEO Campbell Wilson told ET.
IndiGo has also reportedly asked its cabin crew to make some drastic changes in flight management to improve performance. One of the instructions is to close the cabin door within 60 seconds of the last passenger entering the plane.
"On being informed that the last passenger is on board, the cabin door will be closed within 60 seconds. The passenger may still be in the process of settling down in the cabin," the circular distributed by the airline said.
It also said that the doors must be closed 15 mins before the scheduled departure time.
"One of the measures put in place for improving on-time performance is to ensure door closure 15 minutes before departure time for all departures," it added.
Further, the company has asked the pilots to reach the airports at least 75 mins before the scheduled departures of their flights. They must be seated inside the plane 35 minutes before departure.
IndiGo has also increased the pace of hiring ground staff that was laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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First Published: Tue, November 01 2022. 11:46 IST