Over 200 flights at city airport took off or landed late in Oct

More than 200 flights operating in and out of the Mumbai airport were frequently delayed (delayed on more than 20% of the times they were operated in a month) in October.

According to data released by the civil aviation ministry on Monday, 208 flights were frequently delayed last month. They comprised 82 consistently late departures and 126 frequently late arrivals.

Ministry officials said that the number of such flights were higher last month considering Kingfisher Airlines one of the seven domestic airlines had no flight operation.

"Frequent delays of so many flights between six airlines reflects poor discipline,” said a civil aviation ministry official requesting anonymity.

The ministry is likely to conduct a meeting of airlines, air traffic control officials and officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) next week to curb flight delays during the upcoming fog months next week.

Such delays have been the worst between the winter months of November to February with January (390 frequently delayed flights) recording the highest number of such flights since April 2011. (see box for details).

In April last year, the ministry had asked the Mumbai airport operator to publish a list of the frequently delayed flights on its website so that passengers have the option to skip the airlines with a poor punctuality record.

The move was also aimed to discipline airlines.

“Although Mumbai witnesses few fog-caused-flight disruptions,  many flights bound to north India and those arriving from Delhi are frequently delayed having a cascading effect of schedules,” said a senior air traffic control official.

In October, 20 flights each operated by the national carrier Air India and Jet Airways along with its low cost subsidiary Jetlite was highest by any domestic carrier.


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