In contrast to all competitors, no-frill airlines IndiGo, which on Wednesday placed the largest order for 250 Airbus A-320 planes, and GoAir would operate more flights this winter season, while the rest would slash their services.
Though the total number of flights to be operated by all airlines would rise to 12,305 from 11,886 last winter, all carriers, barring the two, have decided to reduce their services from the season starting later this month.
The move by most airlines to reduce their flights is a reflection of their losses as they plan to match their fleet capacity with passenger loads, so as to reduce the number of empty seats - a perishable commodity - flown. IndiGo and GoAir are the only two which have been claiming profits.
New airlines Air Costa and AirAsia India, which were not flying last year, would operate 210 and 180 flights this winter respectively, official data showed. Tata-SIA joint venture airline Vistara is yet to get its flying permit.
While IndiGo would operate 25 per cent more flights than last year, raising the number from 2,987 to 3,733 this year, GoAir would fly 957 flights this season as against 850 last year or 12.6 per cent more, according to the Winter Schedule filed by all airlines with aviation regulator DGCA.
No-frill airline SpiceJet would be the one to reduce the maximum number of flights - from 2,718 last winter season to 2,277 this year, or by 16.2 per cent, the data showed.
Air India would lower the number of its flights by only 2.6 per cent from 1,721 last year to 1,676, while its subsidiary Alliance Air would reduce them from 244 to 210.
Jet Airways' flights would decline from 2,734 to 2,498 (by 8.6 per cent) and JetLite's from 632 to 564 (10.8 per cent), the data showed.
Due to foggy conditions in North India and Delhi particularly from the third week of December, DGCA has approved the schedules for small aircraft like turboprop ATRs, Bombardier's Q-400s and Canadair Regional Jets till December 14 and asked airlines flying these planes to file fresh schedules for operations from December 15, officials said.
DGCA has also directed all airlines to operate with CAT III-B compliant aircraft and trained flight crew to and from Delhi during the entire fog period, they said.
CAT-IIIB instrument landing system is a radio transmitter that provides direction for an approaching aircraft to land on a runway in thick fog, when visibility is just 150 feet.