New Delhi– National passenger carrier Air India on Tuesday sought explanation from data services company FlightStats for its report that ranked Air India as the third worst global performer in terms of on-time operations in 2016.

In a letter to FlightStats, Air India contested the data, calling it “unconfirmed information” which was directed at misleading customers.

“The data published in your report is based on unconfirmed information and is directed at misleading the customers and audience at large,” the letter read.

“The report clearly targets Air India and its image. The report has been made public at a time when Air India has just announced major expansion plans by way of induction of fleet and commencement of new international and domestic stations.”

“And, this also leads one to speculate of the intentions behind the entire exercise. Air India will take very strong action and leave no stone unturned to ascertain and bring to light any biased or malicious intent to spoil Air India’s image.”

The development comes a day after an international media reported that Air India has been ranked the third worst airline in the world in terms of its on-time performance during 2016.

According to the letter, Air India ranks among the top 10 carriers in terms of on-time performance amongst the airlines in the prestigious Star Alliance consortium.

“Air India had a consistent good record for the last two years of having clocked an OTP (On Time Performance) of over 78 per cent on its domestic and international network,” the letter said.

“The OTP of Air India ranks at par with its competitors in the domestic sector taking into consideration the fact that Air India operates to every corner of India where there are several infrastructural constraints like sunset limitations and weather conditions affecting schedules.”

“On international sectors, too, Air India’s OTP can no way be termed poor going by the sheer volume of its operations to most international stations.”

In contrast, low-cost carrier IndiGo on Monday reported that it has been recognised as one of the leading “On-Time Performers” in the Asia-Pacific region by FlightStats in its 8th Annual Airline On-Time Performance Service Awards, January 2017.

IndiGo was recognised among major carriers including Japan Airlines, Virgin Australia, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Jetstar and Jet Airways (India).

The data services company’s website describe its role: “As a leader in flight data services FlightStats, part of FlightGlobal, is in a unique position to be able to provide an in-depth view into how airlines are performing globally.”

“For the past eight years we have been recognizing airlines with our On-time Performance Services (OPS) Awards acknowledging the ‘Best of the Best’.”

The website elaborated that FlightStats OPS Awards recognises airlines around the world that deliver the highest percentage of flights to their arrival gates within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.(IANS)