Thursday, August 31, 2006

Busy skies, detours cost airlines a bomb

Mumbai: The highly lucrative Mumbai-Delhi flight sector, the busiest air corridor in India, is fast turning into a low-profit—maybe even no-profit—route.
Senior pilots, who until now were complaining about circling endlessly over the two major airports before being given permission to land, are now cribbing about having to take detours to other airports, like Jaipur or Ahmedabad, for refuelling before returning to land at their destination.
"The reason is that the circling time has increased way beyond the carrying capacity for reserve fuel that some aircraft have," said a senior commander.
Due to the congested skies, circling alone is costing all airlines a total of Rs 3.60 crore extra per day at a single airport, an aviation analyst has estimated. A few airlines run up a bill of even more as their aircraft must take detours to refuel and then return to land at the proper detination.
31/08/06 Manju V/Times of India
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