Air India says it “strongly” contests an industry report that named it one of the world’s least punctual airlines.
The study by aviation analysts FlightStats found that passengers have more than a one-in-three chance (38.7%) of being delayed if they fly with Air India.
This is the third worst figure in the industry, only ahead of Icelandair (41.1%) and El Al (56.0%). By contrast, the three best performing carriers were KLM (11.5% chance of being delayed), Iberia (11.8%) and Japan Airlines (12.2%).
But India’s national carrier has now written a letter to FlightStats, accusing it of using “erroneous data”. And it went even further, accusing the report of being deliberately misleading and targeting Air India because of its prevailing negative public image.
“The report clearly targets Air India and its image,” Air India said in the letter. “The way the report has been compiled and projected would make one believe that some vested interests might have been at work to tarnish the image of the national carrier of India, which has been performing well in recent times.
“This also leads one to speculate of the intentions behind the entire exercise,” it added.
Air India states that its own records show that the national carrier has an on-time performance rate of more than 78% and that it ranks among the 10 most punctual carriers in the Star Alliance.