On Wednesday, airlines rescheduled the departure time of at least 30 flights at the last minute, delaying the journey of many passengers.
According to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) officials, airlines requested for a change in departure timings anticipating delay in preparing for take off.
Since July 19, the ATC has been cracking down on delays by airlines in reporting flight preparedness for take-off. To beat this, airlines have begun requesting a rescheduling of their departure in advance.
“The on-time-performance of departing flights from 5 am to 9:30 am on Wednesday was 93 per cent,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited, spokesperson.
ATC officials on Wednesday told Hindustan Times that airlines cannot get away by revising flight departures at the last minute because there is a provision in the DGCA circular that empowers the ATC to cancel departure slots of airlines constantly revising scheduled slots.
“We are keeping a record of airlines revising their scheduled departure time,” said M.G. Jhungare, general manager, ATC (western region).
Last minute rescheduling left passengers in a lurch. “At 6:10 I received a message that the 7 am flight to Bangalore has been rescheduled. I had almost reached the airport,” said Puneet Baweja, a marketing executive who spent an hour at the domestic terminal on Wednesday.
“It does not matter whether I wait in the aircraft or the terminal if I end up missing my meeting,” rued businessman Vimal Saluja.