Airfares rise as Mumbai Airport shuts down runway during peak hours

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on November 06, 2019 Published on November 06, 2019

Representative image   -  istock/in.focus

According to Yatra.com, there’s a decline of 10-12 per cent of bookings to and from Mumbai

Online travel agencies have seen a hike of 20 to 35 per cent in airfares after the Mumbai Airport shut its primary runway for major repairs on November 4.

Last-minute bookings, to and from Mumbai, could see a hike of up to 60 per cent till March 2020.

According to Yatra.com, there’s a decline of 10-12 per cent of bookings to and from Mumbai. The busiest routes to and from Mumbai are Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Goa among others, EaseMyTrip has seen a sharp decline for queries on to these routes.

Prashant Pitti, Executive Director & CTO, EaseMyTrip, “If we compare the number of bookings we received in last two months with those received in November for flights to/from Mumbai, it has dropped by around 60-70 per cent. To avoid uncertainty, travelers are postponing their travel plans during the period.”

Ixigo has seen last minute fares from key routes to Mumbai to be shot up by 40-45 per cent for the coming week. “A further increase by 30-35 per cent due to high travel demand and flight capacity constraints is expected.” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO, Co-founder, ixigo Whereas EaseMyTrip has seen a hike of fares of 20 per cent but expect it to go up to 60 per cent in the coming weeks.

To deal with this situation, EaseMyTrip has come up with an innovative solution. The OTA is motivating its customers to book flights to airports nearby Mumbai such as Pune, Nasik and Aurangabad from EaseMyTrip allowing them to avail free bus tickets to Mumbai from these destinations post their flight bookings.

CSIA main runway remains partially shut for 5 months

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) said that the main runway will remain partially shut for five months during peak hours for re-carpeting work. The repair work will continue for over eight hours a day. The second runway is functioning normal. According to sources, this is the second phase of the airport repair. The next phase will start in October 2020 and go on until March 2021.

The Mumbai airport is the second busiest airport in India after Delhi airport. It handles upto 915 daily flights. Since the secondary runway is smaller in width than the primary runway, it can handle lesser capacity per hour. On average, the main runway handles 46 flights in an hour while the secondary runway can handle 36 flights. Thus, approximately 95 flights a day are likely to get rescheduled, diverted or canceled.

On the other hand, with the capital city Delhi, battling with the unruly rains,smog and the onset of winters, it is highly likely that the flights could be delayed or canceled from Delhi as well. The passengers may have to brace themselves to burn a hole in their pockets to travel to and from these metro cities.

Published on November 06, 2019
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