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Indian Airline Industry

‘Oh so pretty on time’ - which Indian carrier would it be?

Tripti Lahiri  Jun 16, 2010

We really, really wanted to say IndiGo because we like their “On Time” commercial so much, with its retro-looking pilots and winking air hostesses being escorted around on conveyor belts. If only the actual experience of flying these days was anywhere near as hip. But it turns out JetLite should steal that ad.

JetLite and Jet Airways are the most punctual domestic airlines, with their flights 89.9% and 88.9% on time, respectively, according to figures for May released Tuesday. Together they account for 27.7% of operations. Mind you, IndiGo is fairly punctual – it handles 11.5% of operations and is on time 85.1% of the time. IndiGo couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The National Aviation Company of India Ltd., which includes Air India and Indian Airlines, handled 21.8% of operations and was on time 66.4% of the time.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation also released punctuality figures for international airlines, even though it said it had only received data from 47 of the 70 airlines that operate out of India. The top three for flights departing India: United Airways, Royal Jordanian and Egypt Air. The worst three for departures: Iran Air (12.5%), Aeroflot (0%) and Asiana (0%). That means, in effect, the latter two airlines never left on time.

The airlines whose passengers spend the most time sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off may want to think about hiring the soothing voice of the IndiGo ad to tell their passengers that they won’t be, well, on time. Those mellifluous tones in the ad below belong to NYU graduate Monica Dogra, who is Shaa’ir of the Mumbai-based duo Shaa’ir + Func, the ad’s creators told urban web site Mumbai Boss. The ad was directed by Wieden + Kennedy (apparently it is not cool to use “and” or “&” anymore) and produced by BangBang Films.

We’re going to attribute the slickness of this ad to W+K, since many of the production company’s previous commercials seems to involve some variation of a Bollywood star and a soft drink. Enough with that already.

But we digress. Back to the airlines. Taken all together, India’s domestic airlines are 81.4% on time. Is that punctual enough to, as the ad says, turn India into the “the world’s most powerful economy on time”?

Watch IndiGo “On Time” commercial:

‘Oh so pretty on time’ - which Indian carrier would it be?
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