IndiGo today shared that approximately 20% of its current flight schedule will be withdrawn from service due to the impact of the Omicron variant. The Indian low-cost carrier has highlighted a series of measures as a result of the cancellations.
The new coronavirus variant continues to take its toll on flight schedules across the globe. Airlines in every continent have been reporting several cancellations amid the rising cases.
Now, LiveMint reports that IndiGo has had to cut a fifth of its services. The Gurgaon, Haryana-based airline had been surpassing its pre-pandemic domestic capacity toward the end of last year as national traffic surged. However, the company has entered the new year with another twist of fate.
For most of December, India had been announcing fewer than 10,000 new virus cases a day. However, the daily figures shot up heading into 2022, and yesterday the country announced over 150,000 new cases.
Change of plans
Due to the shift in conditions, IndiGo has had to adapt its flight schedule, with 20% of flights to be selectively withdrawn. Nonetheless, the company has several initiatives in place to try and minimize the impact on its passengers.
“Owing to the increasing number of Omicron infections, large numbers of IndiGo customers are changing their travel plans. In response to customer needs, IndiGo is waiving change fees and is offering free changes for all new and existing bookings made up to 31st January, for flights up to 31st March 2022,” IndiGo shared in a statement.
“Where possible, cancellation of flights will be done at least 72 hours in advance and customers will be moved to the next available flight and will also be able to change their travel through the use of Plan B (section) on our website. If your flight is cancelled or rescheduled from our end, you need not worry. We have Plan B for you! With Plan B, you can change the time and/or date of your flight or cancel and process (a) refund, at no additional cost.”
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The struggles return
The virus continues to rock services in every corner of the world. Notably, staff shortages amid new outbreaks prompted several US carriers to cancel flights. Even Latin America started to report more cuts this week. During the weekend, airlines continued to report cancellations.
In November, IndiGo grew its domestic network amid a robust rebound in India. This move followed a significant increase in demand from tier 2 and 3 cities in the country. With this momentum, the airline shared that it was looking to double down on cargo and low-cost opportunities in 2022. Overall, the firm will be hoping that Omicron won’t hinder operations in the long term this year.
What are your thoughts about the impact of Omicron on IndiGo’s operations? What do you make of the overall situation? Let us know what you think in the comment section.