Airfares shoot up as runway repair disrupts Mumbai traffic; 5,000 flights to be cancelled or rescheduled

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Published: January 25, 2019 3:20:58 AM

A Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) spokesperson said the closure of the second runway would lead to cancellation of 230 daily flights. It handles around 36 arrivals and departures every hour.

flights cancelled, flights cancelled in mumbai, mumbai flights cancelled, flights, mumbai, mumbai airportAirfares shoot up as runway repair disrupts Mumbai traffic; 5,000 flights to be cancelled or rescheduled

Passengers flying in and out of Mumbai are in for tough times as more than 5,000 domestic and international flights are expected to be cancelled or rescheduled due to a runway repair work scheduled for between February 7 and March 30.

A Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) spokesperson said the closure of the second runway would lead to cancellation of 230 daily flights. It handles around 36 arrivals and departures every hour.

GVK-owned Mumbai International Airport is scheduled to carry out maintenance and repair work on the runway intersection between February 7 and March 30, 11am to 5pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“The main runway, which has a capacity of 50 flight movements per hour, will remain operational. It would take a bit of the load from secondary runway,” the spokesperson said.

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According to experts, domestic fares on Mumbai-bound routes are already up 20% y-o-y for bookings made for that period. “There will likely be flight cancellations and delays owing to which the airfares have seen a hike of about 20% on routes to and from Mumbai,” Sharat Dhall of travel portal Yatra.com said.

Delhi-Mumbai route will be the worst hit with over 30 flight cancellations every day. Other major routes to be impacted are Mumbai-Goa and Mumbai-Bengaluru which will witness over 15 terminations a day.

The closure will allow the airport to re-carpet the intersections of its two runways. Such work is being carried out after more than seven years. The airport operator undertook the first phase of this repair work in October last year.

The MIAL is the second-busiest airport in the country after Delhi, and handles around 950 flights a day on an average.

IndiGo, the largest domestic carrier, currently operates 103 daily departures from Mumbai, out of which 30 flights will be terminated on the affected days.

“We will operate flights to alternate destinations wherever possible. As part of the process, IndiGo will ensure to accommodate passengers on alternate flights to reduce passenger inconvenience,” an IndiGo spokesperson said.

Several airlines have also rescheduled their flights. National carrier Air India said it has changed timings of eight daily flights. “We have informed our passengers about the new timings,” an Air India spokesperson said.

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