Traffic at Mumbai airport down by 15% as airlines ground their planes
Air traffic at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has dropped by around 15% with over 92 aircraft (of Air India, Alliance Air, Air India Express, Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Air Asia-India) not flying.Updated: Mar 16, 2019 04:24 IST
Air traffic at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has dropped by around 15% with over 92 aircraft (of Air India, Alliance Air, Air India Express, Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Air Asia-India) not flying. The dip is a result of India joining the global ban on the Boeing 737 MAX following a crash of this aircraft type, along with other operational factors including shortage of pilots. Indian airlines have grounded 14% of its total fleet of 648 aircraft.
The city’s airport, which handles around 1,000 aircraft movements daily, is currently seeing a net reduction of 150 arrivals and departures. “Lesser flight operations from the city airport are a result of both grounding and cancellation of flights due to various reasons,” said an airport official.
SpiceJet was among the most affected by industry regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s decision to ban the B737 MAX. Thirteen aircraft had to be taken off its schedule. The airlines said it is “rationalising and optimising” the use of its Boeing 737NG and Bombardier Q400 aircraft.
Jet Airways has grounded five B737 MAX while 45 other aircraft had to be grounded due to lack of spare parts and the airlines’ inability to pay the lease amount to the manufacturer. Also affected by a lack of spare parts is Air India, which has grounded 17 of its aircraft for this reason. Only three of Indigo’s 214 aircraft have been grounded, but since February 12, a shortage of pilots has led to the cancellation of 30 flights daily. The cancellations will continue till March 30.
Aviation expert Mohan Ranganathan said, “The current situation of the aviation sector is a result of airlines focusing only on the load factor (more number of passengers) and not the yield (low airfares), which has led to losses. Grounding of B737Max is a required decision taken in the interest of safety of passengers.”
First Published: Mar 16, 2019 04:24 IST