Sunday, September 13, 2020

Mumbai airport grants slot waiver for winter schedule 2020

Mumbai: To help airlines, Mumbai airport has granted a "slot waiver" for winter schedule 2020. With this, airlines don’t risk losing their coveted landing/take-off time slots in Mumbai airport, even if they don’t utilise most of the slots allocated to them for the winter months from October end to March end next year.

A "slot’’ is a permission granted by an airport (or government) to an airline to either take-off or land at a particular time on a particular day at that airport. Airlines plan their flight schedule based on the slots they have been allocated at each airport, they want to operate to. Under the global norms for slot use, an airline has to use 80 % of the slots it has been allocated, or risk losing the unused slots in the next schedule. Slots are finalised and allocated twice a year for summer schedule (end of March to October end) and for winter schedule, which comprises the remaining months, that is. At congested airports like Mumbai, that operate to its maximum capacity with flights taking off and landing 24/7, retaining a slot, especially those allocated for peak hours, is crucial for an airline.

A Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) spokesperson confirmed that slot waiver has been granted to airlines for winter 2020. According to sources, Airports Authority of India-run Kolkata and Chennai airports too have granted slot waiver to airlines.

But many Indian airports haven’t granted a slot waiver yet for winter 2020. Without a slot waiver, there is ambiguity over whether airlines will lose their slots if they don’t follow the 80 % rule during winter schedule 2020.
13/09/20 Manju V/Times of India 
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