Indigo cancellation concerns-Analysis and recommendation

With Jet Airways in a financial mess, Air India having its own concerns and limited network of Vistara, Indigo is the undisputed market leader in India’s aviation business. However, earlier this month Indigo drew wrath of lots of passengers has they had to cancel 30+ flights and worse, these cancellations are extended till end of March. While some excuses like airport closure, hailstorm etc were given as a reason, the unstated news is that Indigo is facing shortage of pilots. With this background, many of my readers were concerned if their Indigo flight will operate as per schedule. Indigo hasn’t made a specific announcement listing what exact flights are cancelled and which all will operate as per schedule. Only affected passengers are informed in person.
So is it safe to continue booking with Indigo? What are the alternatives? What precautions to take? This post offers my analysis.

Is it safe to book with Indigo? Yes.
Understand that Indigo operate 1300+ flights a day. Cancellation of 30 of them is about 2.2% of their operation. Probability of your flight is being one of these 30 is too low
I understand Indigo has been very careful while cancelling the flights- since the issue is shortage of pilots they can chose which flights to cancel. Indigo is cancelling only such flights where it is possible to provide an alternate option to passengers
For example, they will cancel one of the flights from schedules that have multiple flights per day between cities. There’re 5 direct flights between Chennai and Delhi- if they have to cut some flights, they would cut one of these- so that affected passengers can either take an earlier or later flight OR go for one stop flight via say Hyderabad, Kolkata or Mumbai.

It is not possible predict delays weeks in advance. Delay, cancellations can happen with any airline, due to dozens of reasons most of which are not in airline’s control. If you wish to avoid Jet Airways that is understandable given their crisis situation. If you have Air Vistara with decent price you might wish to book it blindly. If not Indigo seems to be the best option, I would say go ahead and book. They do have a decent network- almost half the market share- there is a small risk but I think it is very low and worth taking.

My Experience:
I had a flight to Mumbai last weekend. Vistara doesn’t fly between Mumbai and Chennai, so I had to chose between remaining airlines. I chose to avoid Jet Airways for now, due to their precarious situation. Of the remaining- Indigo, Go Air, Air India, Spicejet, Indigo had multiple flights per day. Thus I decided to take a chance- I flew in Friday night though it would have been convenient to fly Saturday early morning. This was to factor some buffer time- in case my flight is cancelled I could take next flight and still make it to the event in Mumbai. The onward flight was on time. No issues at all. In fact Spicejet had lots of cancellations.

On the return flight, boarding happened on time, but there was no copilot. He came in late and we took off some 40 minutes late. We were told crew had to come in an another flight which was delayed. We also had an off duty pilot sitting as passenger. Eventually we made it to Chennai with some 30-40 minute delay.

Precautions to take
Keep buffer. If you have a crucial meeting on Monday morning 10 AM, don’t plan such that you’ll land at 8 AM. Take an earlier flight- may be Sunday evening or Monday very early morning, so that even if there’s an issue you’ve some buffer time to take alternate flight.

Check Plan B- in case your flight is to be cancelled what would be your Plan B? Does Indigo got another flight same day? Or is a one stop flight is viable for you?

Overall, I would say there’s nothing significant to worry about Indigo’s pilot problem. Go ahead and book if you find Indigo convenient and cheap.


  1. I have booked a indigo flight for 1june from chennai to jaipur which was 1.50 minutes flight. Indigo rescheduled it without informing me tp a flight which will take 7 hours which was earlier sold for 40% price of what i booked. Inspite of the fact that for the particular route no restriction imposed by DGCA, just to gather money with false flights notifications to attract genuine customers and than cancel there tickets and keep there money with them. Now when i called them to ask for refund they denied to issue refund. I have made arrangements for my further travel after reaching jaipur ..all money got wasted. And add on to that when i called indigo they are providing false infomation..i have complete recording of the call as well

  2. Truly indigo airline worst airline I have seen from 17 years travelling abroad.i book indigo flight dubai to srinagar with my family including two small kids on may first week 2020 and departure was june 28 2020 and flight cancelled because of lockdown and then I received mail credit shell issued.but I talk customer service I need refund payment refund as per use uae law and it took to me 4 months struggling refund payment to reverse my account.

    After july 2020 I book chartered flight with 55 passrngersfrom air arabia sharjah to delhi with connecting flight indigo to srinagar and again check indigo staff create us problem cabin bagadge less than 50 cm height and indigo staff asking 300 Rs and finally I paid 1600 Rs

    The worst scenario I have ever seen when I book ticket from indigo return srinagar to dubai. From srinagar airport I stuck with my family and two small kids 3 days sep 7th 8th and 9th 2020.becsuse of RT PCR covid test required from arrival in dubai that we done 2 days before from departure from Govit ICMR lab srinagar kashmir.but indigo staff not accepted in srinagar airport becauuse of illiteracy. Even Govit Doctor on duty in srinagar airport explain him the PCR test is valid and still not accepted and from 7th Sept to 9th Sept 2020 indigo rescheduling my ticket and charge me INR 39,472.00.from 3 days in srinagar air my family even small kids 4 and 6vyears old beg indigo air line that we have online classes in dubai start from august 28 2020.but the indigo staff behaviour and language us disappointed.even we told him several time cancellation of ticket and refund money still they waist time and refuse to cancel.

    I suggest all passengers domestic and international from jammu and kashmir state don't book indigo flight anymore they are now like blood pickers.even online portals indigo flight shows cheapest but problems they are creating very.


    mohammed ishaq bhat
    Dubai uae

    1. THanks for sharing your experience. Hope it gets better


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