Sun, Mar 26, 2017 | updated 09:02 AM IST

Flightstats clarifies: 'Bloomberg misquoted about Air India being third worst airlines in the world'

Updated: Jan 12, 2017 15:03 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan.12 (ANI): Flight data services and applications leader Flightstats on Thursday issued a clarification with regard financial software, data, and media company Bloomberg portraying India's national carrier Air India as the third worst airline in the world.

In a statement, Flightstats Vice President, Aviation and Distribution Jim Hetzel said, "Thank you for your correspondence. Please know that FlightStats is an aviation data company first and foremost and reports flight status and performance data from trusted sources that include airlines, airports, GDS systems, civil aviation authorities and positional data sources. We stand by our data, collection systems and reporting based on these data sources and our validation methodologies. That said, we would be happy to work with Air India with regards to that data that we have sourced to compare with your own data and would be pleased to integrate a direct source of Air India status information as part of our system as we do with many airlines around the globe."

Hetzel further said, "We understand that a recent article by Bloomberg has portrayed Air India in a negative light and we want to assure you that FlightStats by no means endorsed their portrayal of your performance. While we do highlight exceptional performers, we do not, and have not, highlighted low performance or maintain a list of worst performing airlines. Bloomberg requested and was provided a list of 122 international carriers with their accompanying arrival on-time percentage for the year of 2016. All data is reported using the industry standard A14 metric, which measures the percentage of on-time actual gate arrivals within 14:59 of scheduled gate arrival."

"Our data, which was a measure of 97.7% of your arriving flights, indicated that 61.29% of AI's flight arrived within the A14 threshold. Bloomberg applied its journalistic license to invert the A14 result to highlight the percentage of delayed flights being 38.17% and indicated that the number was a predictor to future delays. This is not how we would portray airline OTP; nor were we given access to the Bloomberg article prior to its publication. Please note we are making a formal statement about this on our website as well as via our social and media channels. We certainly understand your concern and would be pleased to work with Air India to understand where differences exist to ensure the highest degree of accuracy for both of us. Our goal is to be factual and unbiased. We understand that numerous factors impact OTP performance; most of which are not in control of the airline," he added.

Three days ago, Bloomberg had issued a report in which it listed the ten worst international airlines of 2016. They were as follows:

10. Hainan Airlines - 30.3 percent

9. Korean Air - 31.74 percent

8. Air China - 32.73 percent

7. Hong Kong Airlines - 33.42 percent

6. China Eastern Airlines - 35.8 percent

5. Asiana Airlines - 37.46 percent

4. Philippine Airlines - 38.33 percent

3. Air India - 38.71 percent

2. Icelandair - 41.05 percent

1. El Al - 56 percent

At that time, Hetzel had said that the data was stitched together from 500 different sources.

Responding to the finding, Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar indignantly said on January 10, "We totally disagree with the report published by FlightStats about AI. Initially it seems that the report is fabricated so AI management will investigate the report till the end."

Air India, which is in expansion mode, has been struggling to make profits. It is already chasing an unattainable operating profit target of Rs 1,086 crore by March 2017, which means that the company will have to make Rs 11 crores as profit daily if it is to make a turnaround.

The national carrier's operating loss was Rs.161 crore in the first three quarters of 2016-17 -- reducing the daily loss from Rs 4 crore every day to Rs 58 lakh. The company also has a target to make its first net profit by 2022. (ANI)

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