Mumbai Airport Flight Reductions To Curb Congestion Trigger Concerns Of Ticket Price Surge

Mumbai Airport Flight Reductions To Curb Congestion Trigger Concerns Of Ticket Price Surge

Mumbai International Airport, the country's second busiest, handles 950-1,000 flights daily with a capacity for 55 million passengers annually.

Oliviya KunjumonUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 06:20 PM IST
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Mumbai International Airport Ltd |

In an effort to alleviate congestion and enhance punctuality in departures, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has directed Mumbai Airport to reduce the volume of flights. The airport had previously allocated an excessive number of slots, resulting in congestion issues and prolonged hovering times for aircraft, reaching up to 60 minutes.

However, the new rules led to airlines canceling around 40 flights daily at Mumbai Airport until March 30. This was done to ease runway congestion and improve operations. However, it sparked a debate about the potential implications for the future of air travel, with concerns raised about a possible surge in airfares on routes at one of India's busiest airports.

Flights cancelled amid runway congestion Woes

Akasa Air recently canceled multiple flights between Mumbai and Bengaluru due to the ongoing efforts to tackle runway congestion problems at Mumbai Airport. On Wednesday, the airline declared the cancellation of two flights on the Mumbai-Bengaluru route until March 30. This action came after they earlier announced on Tuesday about the cancellation of four flights on the identical route scheduled between February 15 and March 30.

Vistara also made a decision to cancel eight flights daily between February 19 and February 30, according to reports.

Fuel and Financial Strain: The Cost of Circling at Mumbai Airport

Spending extra time circling above Mumbai Airport has cost airlines more money and made things less efficient. Planes use about 2000 kg of fuel per hour, so the 40 to 60 minutes spent circling wasted a lot of fuel around 1.7 to 2.5 kilolitres of jet fuel.

This added up to extra expenses, estimated at Rs 1.8 to 2.6 lakh. This not only affected airlines but also made things inconvenient for passengers, causing delays and dissatisfaction.

Mumbai Airport Statistics

Mumbai International Airport, the country's second busiest, handles 950-1,000 flights daily with a capacity for 55 million passengers annually. In FY2022-23, it handled 44 million passengers, slightly below pre-pandemic levels. The Adani group acquired a 74 per cent stake in July 2021.

Record Air Traffic Amidst Challenges

Amid operational hurdles, India experienced record domestic air traffic of 152 million passengers in 2023, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Airports are witnessing strong air traffic, reflecting the robust demand for air travel in the country, surpassing the volumes seen before the pandemic.

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