More than four out of 10 domestic flights operating out of the Mumbai in July were late — the poorest flight punctuality seen at India’s second busiest airport this year.
Data released by the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) on Tuesday showed that 43% departures and 38% city-bound flight missed their scheduled time last month.
Rise in flight delays is common during monsoon, but city fliers did not see such widespread delays in July at least till 2012.
While July (2015) saw 29.5% late flights, the rain-soaked month saw 29% delays in 2014, 25.5% in 2013 and only 18% in 2012.
That shows an approximate jump of 15 percentage points in delayed operations last month.
“Last July could be an exception as rainfall was scanty. But data from earlier years clearly indicates that the airport has fundamental capacity challenges, which turn worse in poor weather,” said a senior airline executive requesting anonymity.
Rajiv Saxena, general manager, air traffic control, Mumbai, said congestion up to 30 minutes is common in Mumbai during monsoon.
“On days when it’s pouring or the runway visibility is fluctuating, our focus is to avoid diversions and we have largely been able to achieve that,” he said.
The MIAL data said delays that began during the morning peak hours got worse by the second half. For instance, departure delays rose from 48% between 9am and 3pm to 58% in the subsequent half.
Incoming flights were worse. From 34% late arrivals in the first half, the number rose to 46%, the data said.
Average no. of flights delayed by more than 15 minutes (in %).
Avg no. of flight delays in July over the years