In spite of the mounting troubles and the recent flight cancellations, Kingfisher shares honours with Jet Airways in the category of most favoured airlines this year, according to an annual airline and air travel survey released on Friday.
While Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher is the best airline for in-flight entertainment, food/beverages, in-flight service, in-flight maintenance (cabin lighting, cleanliness, seat comfort, leg room), Naresh Goyal-headed Jet leads in ground handling and landing/take-off quality, it said.
India's largest low-cost carrier IndiGo comes next at No 2, said the survey by travel advisory portal TripAdvisor.
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Kingfisher had topped the 2010 edition of the survey.
However, TripAdvisor did not specify when the survey was conducted, and hence it is not clear if it was done before October when the troubles escalated for Kingfisher, leading to massive flight cancellations.
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"The survey rings in some good news for the woes-ridden Kingfisher Airlines. Despite recent turbulent times, consumers have given a clear thumbs up to the airline as a favourite carrier which is topping most service and experience parameters," TripAdvisor India Country Manager Nikhil Ganju told reporters while releasing the India Airline Survey 2011.
National carrier Air India, which is also facing a tough time, is the least favoured airline for the second year in a row, the survey said.
IndiGo continues to be the best carrier for 'on time performance' and 'value for money' for the second year in row.
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For 'on time performance', IndiGo beat its own scores with a 15 per cent increase in its ratings from last year, it said.
"Despite the current economic environment and challenges faced by the airline industry, India has witnessed robust passenger growth in the past year and it seems that it is heavy fliers which are contributing significantly to this growth," Ganju said.
Among the global carriers, the Emirates topped the charts, voted as best international airline with 22.15 per cent respondents followed closely by Singapore Airlines at 21.13 per cent and Lufthansa 8.94 per cent.
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The survey also pointed out that with airfares showing upward trend consistently, travellers are looking for cheaper fares.
When asked about their preference between budget and full service airlines, 64 per cent respondents claimed they would go with which ever airline offered the lowest fare for their leisure travel.
The preference for low-cost seeking is obviously lower (48 per cent) for business travel, the survey said.
Nearly 72 per cent respondents said they would plan a last minute trip if they get a great deal on flight tickets.
Confirming the mass outbreak of addiction to mail and mobile, 68 per cent respondents said they would pay extra for wi-fi connectivity on a plane. As many as 35 per cent said they were willing to dish out extra bucks for being able to use their cellphones on a flight.
In-flight etiquette manual suggested that rude seat reclining (44.67%) and loud mobile phone conversations (44.50%) topped the list of behaviour people find most annoying among co-passengers on-board.
Indians seem to be comfortable being lone travellers. As many as 77 per cent respondents prefer not to socialise with passengers seated with them or keeping it down to minimum civilities, the survey pointed out.
On-board companions and shows books continue to be an all time favourite among travellers. However, electronic gadgets like iPad, tablets and gaming devices take over from there on, the survey maintained.