Business, Finance & Economics

India airlines flouting safety to cut costs: regulator


An IndiGo Airways aircraft prepares to land at Mumbai airport, Jan. 12, 2011.


Punit Paranjpe

India's airlines are flouting safety regulations to cut costs — possibly giving new meaning to India's “aviation boom.”

I'm writing this blog on a Jet Airways flight to Kathmandu, so you can feel my pain. Don't panic: everything seems in order, and if you're reading this it means that I landed safely.

But in the wake of bus crashes on the runway, a near miss here and there, epic delays due to fog in Delhi, and a never-ending scrum at immigration, baggage claim and the taxi stand — well, let's just say it doesn't make encouraging reading.

Here's the dope: A new report by India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation has found all of the country's major domestic airlines to be flouting safety rules, the Hindustan Times reports.

More from GlobalPost: IndiGo is India's hottest low-cost carrier

  • Jet Airways, for instance, did not have the required trainers and did not comply with its audit plan for safety in 2011.
  • IndiGo allegedly suppressed information by not reporting incidents, and is also suffering from a shortage of training examiners and instructors.
  • SpiceJet allegedly did not have any qualified instructor on their Boeing 737 fleet.

Fortunately for guys like me, who can't take the bus, there's some dispute about the findings.

SpiceJet told the Hindustan Times that it had 30 qualified instructors, while IndiGo said it had always complied with the regulator's instructions. Kingfisher Airlines, meanwhile, submitted a detailed response to civil aviation authorities on Monday.

Cross your fingers for me. Oh, yeah, you're reading this, so I'm all good.