There will be more flights available for air passengers in Mumbai this summer.
More than two dozen take-off and landing slots have been added to the Mumbai airport’s daily flight handling capacity this summer. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has permitted 717 flight slots (take-offs and landings) daily at the city airport during the summer schedule, from March 27 to October 29.
The aviation regulator had approved only 694 slots in the previous schedule from October to March. Out of 717 flight slots permitted to Mumbai airport, 507 slots are for domestic operations while the rest are for international flights.
“Flight movements were reduced in the previous schedule because the main runway was under repairs. From July 1, we can handle more flights because both the runways would be available for operations,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson.
The airport’s main runway is shut from 9am to 5pm daily except on Sundays, for repairs since last October. The repair work is scheduled to get over by June 30.
More flights would mean reasonable airfares when demand soars during the summer vacations starting next month, claim aviation experts.
“Every additional flight movement would offer that many more passenger seats. Increase in supply would control airfares,” said an aviation expert requesting anonymity.
“Assuming a domestic flight has 200 seats, addition of 23 flights would offer 4,600 more seats to passengers this season,” he explained.
Reduction of 12 flights slots at Mumbai airport owing to the runway repairs was one of the reasons behind massive airfare hike last year.
Airfares even on busy routes such as Mumbai-Delhi had doubled during the festive rush ,around mid-November last year. Grounding of around 12% of the aircraft fleet used for domestic operations owing to repairs was another major factor in cutting down supply.