Sunday, January 12, 2020

Delhi, Mumbai airports see pick up in traffic after first fall in decade

Passenger traffic at the Mumbai and Delhi airports is picking up after witnessing a fall last year, the first such decline since 2008.
The primary reason for the dip in annual passenger traffic was the closure of Jet Airways. In Mumbai, the airline’s closure on April 17 led to a reduction of 142 flights a day for about two months. But improvement in load factors, coupled with an increase in seat capacity after Jet’s slots were allotted to low-cost airlines, has resulted in a 4 per cent increase in daily passenger traffic over past two months, sources said. Mumbai International Airport executives expect growth to continue through the year. On an average, the airport handled 142,000 passengers each day in November and December, which was 4 per cent higher on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.
Delhi airport, too, has seen monthly traffic grow since October and expects it to rise further as better navigation procedures have resulted in an increase in daily flight movements. At present, Delhi is handling around 1,300 flights daily, which is around 100 movements more compared to last January.

“The good news is the increasing number of aircraft available and low fares. We have 646 aircraft flying in the country now. Three ATR aircraft were added to the fleet on Friday. Demand will pick up. It is just a matter of time. Hopefully, we will be back to double digit growth in 2020," said Arun Kumar, Director General of Civil Aviation.

The suspension of Jet Airways operations in April hit passenger traffic at Mumbai and Delhi — the two busiest airports in the country. The airports were also hubs for Jet Airways. According to aviation consultancy CAPA, Jet accounted for 28-30 per cent of all domestic and international seat capacity in Mumbai and 14-16 per cent in Delhi.
12/01/20 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

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