Airlines allowed to use vacant slots at Mumbai airport till September
As operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) bounce back to normal after the grounding of Jet Airways aircraft earlier this year, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed other airlines to continue using the vacant slots for till September.
The number of daily flights operating from the city’s airport had dropped to 650 from 950 after Jet Airways stopped operations on April 17. In order to meet rising demand and to lower rising ticket fares, the civil aviation ministry allowed IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara to take up these slots on an interim basis for three months.
The slots were allotted by a ministry-recommended committee comprising officials from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), DGCA and the respective airports.
The other airlines introduced new daily flights to cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad; and SpiceJet and Vistara inducted Jet Airways aircraft on lease. Since then, the number of daily international and domestic flights operated at CSMIA has increased to 850.
The DGCA has now allowed the airlines to use Jet Airways’ slots till September. “With DGCA deciding to extend the earlier vacant slots to other airlines till September, airports like Mumbai and Delhi will be able to utilise their maximum capacity,” said a DGCA official. Arun Kumar, director general of DGCA, did not respond to HT’s queries.