Flight delays at the Mumbai airport have increased significantly over the last two months, according to data compiled by the city airport operator. Of the 7,300 scheduled departures in January, 2,248 (31%) were delayed.
Arrivals were worse with 40% (2,946 out of 7,298) city-bound flights running behind schedule.
The average departure delays for four months until November was just 14% and delay in arrivals during the same period was around 19%.
“Flight delays over the last two months have more than doubled. We had anticipated delays to go up during the fog season but the performance this year was particularly bad,” said a senior official with the civil aviation ministry.
The data has brought the airlines’ performance under scrutiny because their performance over the last two months was worse than the monsoon months of July and August when flight disruptions are normal in the city.
“The on-time performance for both arrivals and departures were well above 80% during the peak monsoon months. That reflects a worrying trend about fog preparation this winter,” said an official with a private airline.
The data indicates that in January the airlines’ punctuality charts were dismal through the day ostensibly owing to the cascading effect of early morning delays.
For instance, only 16% departures operated between 5am and 9am were delayed but it more than doubled (34%) from 9am to 3pm and increased upto 39% by the end of the day, stated the data.
The national carrier Air India showed the most dismal performance as almost half (48%) of the outgoing flights operated by it were delayed last month. Also, 56% of the city-bound flights operated by the airline reached the city late.