New Delhi: National carrier Air India has been rated the third-worst airline in the world, according to a list compiled by aviation insights company Flight Stats.
“We stitch data together from 500 different sources,” News18 quoted Jim Hetzel, vice president of aviation and distribution at FlightStats, as saying.
TI further reported that to determine the finalists and winners, FlightStats examines flight status and arrival data aggregated from global sources including civil aviation authorities, airlines, airports, and major airline reservation systems.
The worst airline, according to the list, is Israeli airline El Al and the second-worst is Icelandair.
On the other hand, an Air India spokesperson trashed the report, alleging that it was “fabricated”.
“We totally disagree with the report published by an agency about Air India. Initially it seems that the report is fabricated so the Air India management will investigate the report till the end,” airline spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said in a statement.
Apart from Air India, the ten worst carriers list included Air China, Hong Kong Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Delta Air Lines and Qatar Airways among others, according to Hindustan Times.
The Portland-headquartered firm’s survey highlighted issues over cabins, service quality, and flight delays. According to a Bloomberg report, taking a wrong carrier can delay travel by 55%, and the right one can reduce travel time by 11% — a good reason to choose one airline over the other.
Air India has been struggling to get back to profitability. It is already chasing an unattainable operating profit target of Rs 1,086 crore by March 2017, which means that the company will have to make Rs 11 crore of daily operating profits.
Another report in The Financial Express said that Air India has been floating on a Rs 30,000 crore bailout package from the government and currently is saddled with a debt of Rs 46,570 crore.
“Instead of plaguing the national economy and shaming the industry in front of the world, it will be better to sell the company off to more able and corporatized hands which can make maximum use of the supportive government policies,” said the article.
The new rating of FlightStats can be a dampener if fewer flyers start preferring the carrier over quality issues.