India: India is one of the fastest developing countries on the planet and its aviation sector is no different. With the rise of air travel in India comes the inevitable reality of the rise of flight delays.
Currently the world's 9th largest in the aviation sector, India is expected to grow the sector to become at least the world's third largest by 2020. This is mainly due to the rise of incomes and low-cost aviation benefiting the growing Indian middle class.
To say that India is aiming to be top of the pile in terms of flight delays must be said with tongue firmly in cheek, but, it is a bleak reality for Indians who wish to travel by air.
A country as vast as India is crying out for investment into regional airports and infrastructure. To counter the need for infrastructure, the Indian Government have given the go-ahead for new pre-fabricated structures to serve as regional airports connecting various parts of the country. These pre-fab airports will be put in place and see the carrying of 30 - 50 passengers during peak times.
Many flights are and will continue to be domestic. With the domestic growth rate over the last 10 years at over 10%, Indians are embracing air travel like never before.
Being able to get from various parts of the country by air will make life easier. There will be an increase in employment and education opportunities for millions of Indians. However, millions of Indians will also encounter flight delays as a consequence.
Flight delays are a pricey business for Indian airlines, as passengers are compensated for delays and cancellations, much like passengers are compensated in Europe.
The only difference is that for passengers flying from India, there is a lower threshold to claim compensation in comparison to their European counterparts.
In Europe, you can make a compensation claim and are entitled to compensation if your flight was cancelled or delayed by 3 or more hours and the airline is at fault. (Which is most of the time)
The Indians feel that 2 hours is long enough to be compensated for a flight delay. However, the average payment per passenger in Europe is 600 euro and in India the payment amount is Rs 10,000, which equates to around 135 Euro.
Nonetheless, for a country that is aiming for the very top of the aviation sector, millions of individual claims for flight delay compensation will certainly have to be considered when moving forward with the expansion of India’s air travel. Millions of passengers will become increasingly rights savvy leaving airlines constantly delving into their collective pockets to foot the bill of flight delays and cancellations.