With festival euphoria taking over India ahead of the New Year, passenger traffic is showing an uptick across India with people travelling to celebrate in major metros. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) is the world’s busiest single crossover runway airport. On Saturday, December 10, CSMIA clocked the highest number of passengers in a single day since the pandemic struck air travel globally.
Third highest overall, but biggest day for domestic air travel
At 1,50,988 passengers, the Mumbai international airport had its third busiest day ever, which was 97 per cent of 1,56,392 passengers handled on December 21, 2018, and 98 per cent of 1,52,562 achieved on December 22, 2017. The domestic passenger traffic was at CSMIA’s highest ever of 1,11,441, while the airport welcomed 39,547 international flyers. The highest traffic during the pandemic was recorded in February 2021, when it hit 73,509 passengers in a single day.
Airport gears up for surging numbers
In order to meet the demands of a rising passenger traffic, service executives have been deployed at the airport, along with queue monitoring tech and terminal operation teams for security. Alongside automated tray retrieval, teams have also been posted at self-baggage drop kiosks to prevent congestion at the terminals. Manpower has also been scaled up and passengers are given priority, if the traffic surges on some days.
Pent up demand unlocked
On a pan-India level, the domestic passenger traffic hit 4,14,114 with more than 2,700 flights on a single day on December 10. The footfalls are expected to surge further as the holidays approach, and they have already surpassed the pre-pandemic levels achieved in 2019, showing a significant recovery. As domestic flyers are travelling more after restrictions during the pandemic, major airlines such as Air India are gearing up by reportedly ordering up to 500 new aircraft.
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