Thursday, September 05, 2019

Cascading delays, visibility hit flights at Mumbai airport

With the areas around Santacruz receiving more than 200 mm of rain through the day, domestic and international passengers faced cascading delays, which increased from 25 minutes on Wednesday morning to 60 minutes by early evening.
There was fluctuating visibility and waterlogging in the operational area around the cross runway. While average delays ranged from 15 to 25 minutes in the morning, heavy rains led to visibility fluctuating below 500 metres on the runway between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm.
A video shot by a ground handling staff also showed water flowing in the parking bays. Mumbai Rains: Traffic moves slowly on the waterlogged Western Express Highway in Kalanagar. According to data from, a global air traffic monitoring website, the delays began increasing gradually from 25 minutes to 45 minutes, and by 6 pm, the delays peaked at 61 minutes for departing flights. Several arriving flights were also delayed by more than an hour when visibility was low.
Air India’s flight 646 arriving from Jodhpur touched down at 6.01 pm instead of 1.35 pm. Its flight 680 from Mangalore arrived at 4.21 pm instead of 2.25 pm. Jaipur-Mumbai flight 612 landed at 6.03 pm instead of 3.50 pm, while Visakhapatnam-Mumbai flight 651 was late by 90 minutes.
 According to the website, 96 arrivals were delayed and five flights were cancelled, and 240 departures were delayed and eight were cancelled. Seven of these cancelled services were Indigo flights to Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Coimbatore between 4.10 pm and 7.20 pm. Air India also cancelled its 6 pm departure to Delhi. Several passengers faced a harrowing time reaching the airport.
Gopilal Kumawat, a 31-year-old sweetshop owner from Mankhurd, left by train at noon to board a 2.30 pm Air India flight to Udaipur, but waterlogging at Kurla railway station and heavy traffic jams on the Western Express Highway from Bandra onwards ensured that he could reach only around 3.30 pm.
 “It was horrible. First, no autos or cabbies were ready to come to the airport from Kurla station. Then one auto driver agreed to take me for Rs 400, but he dropped me at Bandra and refused to go any further due to jams and waterlogging. I managed to get a cab at 1.30 pm. It took me two hours to cover 2.5 km,” said Kumawat, who managed to catch his flight as Air India rescheduled AI 643 to Udaipur for 6.40 pm.
04/09/19 Satish Nandgaonkar/Mumbai Mirror
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