MUMBAI: The saturated Mumbai airport added 11 more flights — at least seven for international destinations — to its winter schedule that began from October 15. These flights operate between 11 pm and 3 am.
A September report released by a Sydney-based aviation think tank, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said the Mumbai airport had reached 94% of its maximum passenger handling capacity of 48 million, reports Hindustan Times.
It predicted that by 2018, it will reach its saturation point. The city airport currently handles 45.2 million passengers and sees around 930 flight operations daily.
Why late night or early morning slots? An airport official said this was because domestic passengers do not prefer taking late night flights. “Air traffic is less at night as compared to day operations. Airlines first apply for a request of additional slots to the airport operator who then forwards it to the Air Traffic Control (ATC), which checks the availability of a time table. ” The slots were allotted by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in mid September.
Most of the new flights are between 11pm and 3am and fly to regular destinations such as London, Amsterdam, Riyadh, Kuwait and Colombo.
Meanwhile, GoAir has pressed an additional flight to and from Patna. “We have added 202 more flight in India this winter compared to 171 flights in the same period last year,” said a spokesperson of the airline.