This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com
In the last five years, IndiGo’s share in domestic flights to and from Mumbai has increased from 21.5% to 30%. During this period, the market leader’s ‘on-time performance’—defined as taking off or landing within 15 minutes of the scheduled time—has taken a beating: down from 72% to 56%. Its fall is most pronounced in the past year (chart 1), and it trailed SpiceJet and Jet Airways in December 2016. Even other airlines have seen drops in Mumbai, but none as much as IndiGo.
In late December, IndiGo wrote to the aviation regulator, citing issues with data-collection methods followed by the GVK Group-run Mumbai airport to compute on-time performance. These methods, it alleged, were inaccurate and favoured rival airlines. The regulator has since set up a panel to examine the issue, opening another front of friction between airlines. On-time performance data put out by the Mumbai airport shows that IndiGo is losing out in the busy part of the day (chart 2), though it was the best in controlling what’s in its hands (chart 3).