New Delhi: Jet Airways and Air India may have the maximum number of CAT-III trained pilots, but these two airlines account for bulk of flight diversions since 2012.
"A total of 89 domestic and international flights were diverted to other airports in 2012 while this year (it was) 55," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh informed Lok Sabha Wednesday.
Last year, Jet Airways and JetLite combined witnessed most number of diversions (25 flights) followed by Air India 13 flights and SpiceJet 12 flights.
No-frill carrier IndiGo had nine diversions while now grounded Kingfisher Airlines had four and GoAir had two diversions.
This year Jet Airways and JetLite combined had most number of flight diversions at 21 (18 and three respectively) followed by Air India with 15, IndiGo eight and SpiceJet seven. GoAir witnessed no diversions.
Singh said Jet Airways also reported largest number of flight cancellations due to adverse weather.
Last year, Jet Airways had 557 flight cancellations, followed by Air India 349, Kingfisher 278, GoAir 220, SpiceJet 193, JetLite 125, IndiGo 88 and Air Mantra 30.
This year, Jet Airways had 116 flight cancellations, Air India 94, SpiceJet 89, GoAir 53, IndiGo 52, Air Mantra 32 and JetLite 30.
Singh admitted that there was a shortage of CAT-III trained pilots who can operate flights in foggy conditions. This was despite the fact that the number of such trained pilots have increased from 1,288 in 2011 to 2,082 in 2012.
Air India has most number of CAT-III trained pilots among all airlines. The national carrier had 406 CAT-III trained commanders and 262 co-pilots followed by Jet Airways 283 commanders and 212 co-pilots, IndiGo 259 commanders and 185 co-pilots.
SpiceJet has 107 CAT-III trained commanders and 77 co-pilots, JetLite has 91 commanders and 90 co-pilots and Go Air has 66 commanders and 44 co-pilots.
Air India, Jet and SpiceJet also have CAT-II trained pilots. Air India has 13 commanders and two co-pilots, Jet has 17 commanders and 20 co-pilots and SpiceJet has 10 commanders and five co-pilots, he added.