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Mumbai Airport Takes Off with Fewer Flights to Ease Congestion and Delays

 

Facing growing congestion and flight delays, the Indian government has directed Mumbai airport to streamline its operations by reducing scheduled flights and restricting business jet movements during peak hours. This move, impacting around 40 flights and private jet operations, aims to improve on-time departures and enhance passenger experience.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) instructed the airport to decrease aircraft movements from 46 to 44 per hour during rush hour, from 44 to 42 per hour during non-peak hours.

IndiGo, the busiest carrier, will reduce 18 flights.Air India group, including Vistara, will cut 17 flights.While this may inconvenience some travellers, the changes are expected to reduce congestion and delays, ensuring smoother air traffic flow.

It would improve on-time departures, minimising waiting times for passengers and enhance overall airport efficiency, benefitting travelers and airlines alike.

This initiative aims to strengthen Mumbai’s position as a key aviation hub and provide a more reliable and efficient air travel experience for all.

In an effort to combat skyrocketing congestion and improve on-time performance, Mumbai airport has been ordered to reduce scheduled flights and restrict business jet operations during peak hours. This move, aimed at boosting efficiency and minimizing delays, has sparked opposition from major corporate groups who rely heavily on these private jets.

Mumbai airport, owned by the Adani Group, stands second busiest in India behind Delhi, renowned for its high volume of business jet traffic.

It operates the most flights among all single-runway airports and reached a record high of 4.88 million passengers in December 2023.

Airlines are exceeding the airport’s peak handling capacity, leading to ground congestion and delays. Parking stands and runway availability are insufficient to accommodate the increased traffic. Government and business jets add to the chaos, impacting scheduled flights.

Airports need to factor in unforeseen circumstances when predicting peak hour capacity.

Sudden cancellations hurt their ability to redeploy aircraft, resulting in losses and compensation costs. New restrictions significantly hamper their operations, impacting Mumbai’s commercial hub status.

Asking airports to consider unforeseen circumstances in peak hour forecasts. Advocating for better coordination between airlines and ground operations and mandating additions of new flights to be based on passenger handling capacity at security checkpoints.

Balancing the aviation boom with infrastructure limitations is crucial to ensure smooth operations and passenger satisfaction.

Collaborative efforts among airlines, airports, and regulators are needed to find sustainable solutions.

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