Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Indian Airlines Facing Major Slot Constraints

Capacity constraints caused by a lack of parking slots have stifled growth at Mumbai International Airport, prompting the likes of Air India and Jet Airways to adjust fleet-planning strategies to compensate. The hardest-hit city pair—Mumbai-Delhi—ranks as the sixth busiest in the world, according to the OAG, and accounts for more than 45 percent of the domestic air traffic in India.

More constraints on domestic aviation involve an increase in price of aviation fuel and Air India’s divestment plans, which could put the airline’s new partner/owner under financial duress until it completes integration, limiting its fleet procurement.

Meanwhile, Mumbai’s planned second airport remains mired in controversy over land acquisition and environmental concerns. Plans call for developers to cut into a hill and divert the course of the Ullwe River before crews can begin construction.

“Slots are a big issue at Mumbai as there is no space to expand,” Vishok Mansingh, CEO of Mumbai-based consultancy CAV Aero Services, told AIN. As a result, Jet Airways and Air India have already upgauged from narrowbody aircraft to widebodies on the Mumbai-Delhi route. “Once IndiGo gets its 20 [Airbus] A321neos with 60 more seats [than its A320s carry], I see them running on the Delhi-Mumbai route,” he added.
3/10/17 Neelam Mathews/AIN Online