Fewer city-bound flights are being forced to circle above the Mumbai airport owing to air traffic congestion compared to last month. This has led to fewer flight delays.
According to air traffic control (ATC) officials, movement in and out of the airport has become smoother because of a reduction in the daily take-offs and landings from 750 to 720.
The ease in traffic load was witnessed soon after Kingfisher Airlines reduced 10 scheduled flights out of Mumbai last month. In November, the airline had curtailed 40 flights from its national network because it wa s making losses on these routes.
“Owing to the reduction of 10 flights the numbers of daily movements have come down by 30. So, very few flights have to hover above the airport even in peak hours,” said a senior ATC official requesting anonymity.
Normally, Mumbai-bound flights circle above the airport for about 10 to 15 minutes on an average during peak hours. As a result flights from 6am to 9am and 8pm to 10 pm often get delayed. But now the circling time is not more than three minutes, said ATC officials.
Sources said that they have saved enormous amounts of fuel thanks to this reduction in time.