Only a third of the flights were delayed on Tuesday, a day after airlines fell in line with the aviation regulator’s new rule of sending late flights to the end of the take-off queue.
On Tuesday, fewer passengers flying out of Mumbai faced delays as the number of flights penalised for late take-offs reduced by a third from Monday.
Airport officials told HT that 20 flights scheduled to leave the city from 5 to 6 am were sent to the back of the take-off queue and were delayed by an hour.
On Monday, the day the rule came into force, 60 flights were penalized.
“Traffic management has become a breeze overnight,” said MG Jhunghare, general manager, Air Traffic Control, (western region).
Another 25 flights were also refused take off but they were delayed by only 30 minutes.
Airlines have finally started informing passengers about the new rule and requesting them to report early, 40 minutes before the time of departure.
“Check-in counters will shut 10 minutes earlier than before at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Previously, people could check in 30 minutes before departure,” said a spokesperson of Kingfisher Airlines.
Spokespersons of Air India and Jet Airways, the other two major domestic carriers, also said that they would comply with the new rule and inform passengers about the changes through text messages.
On Monday, airlines did not inform passengers or travel agents which worsened the confusion. Thousands of fliers spent hours crammed inside their planes at Mumbai airport before finally taking off on Monday.
The air traffic control (ATC) had sent 60 flights to the back of the take-off queue because they were not ready to take off 15 minutes before their scheduled departure time.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) circular, intended to reduce delays and discipline airlines, came into effect on Monday at 5 am.
“Earlier if a flight was delayed we were made to sit at the airport. But now we are stuck inside a congested aircraft. What sort of a rule is this that inconveniences the consumer?” asked Ravi Parwani, a businessman stuck on a Delhi-bound flight for an hour.