People taking morning flights in and out of Mumbai have faced fewer flight delays as compared to those travelling in the afternoon or evening, said the airport operator’s report on flight delays.
The monthly analysis, conducted between August and October, showed that fewer flights were delayed during the first half of the day (3am to 3pm) as compared to those that operated in the latter half (3pm to 11pm).
In October, 90% departures between 3am and 3pm (which includes the morning peak hours of 6am to 9am) took off on time, the data stated. During the same period, 87% flights arriving in the city were on time.
However, the latter half of the day witnessed more delays, as only 84% departures between 3pm and 11pm were on schedule. Arrivals during this period were worse, with only 78% flights reaching the city on time.
“Traffic congestion is greater during the evening than the morning. As a result, flight delays are higher during that time,” said a senior air traffic control (ATC) official requesting anonymity.
The official added, “Small flight delays get accumulated throughout the day and then impact flight schedules in the evening.”
The trend has been similar in August and September.
Indigo was the pick among domestic airlines by recording the best on-time performance in October. The low-cost carrier operated 93% of its departure and 90% of its arrival on time.
Spicejet fared poorly with 25% of its departure getting delayed for more than 15 minutes.
Air India, the national carrier, recorded the highest number of arrival delays with 27% of its city-bound flights arriving late.
The report added that of the 863 flights delayed in October, 522 were delayed owing to reactionary factors such as airlines holding up a flight for passengers to board, delay in boarding and industrial disputes by crew.