Operations of more than 900 domestic and international flights are likely to be affected as the Mumbai airport runways will be partially closed for repair work from February 7 to March 30. The closure will cause a 21 per cent to 96 per cent hike in prices of flight tickets, as compared to the last year.
As per the information from the Mumbai International Airport limited (MIAL), there will be no flight movements at the Mumbai airport between 11 am and 5 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from February 7 to March 30.
A senior airport official said more than 230 daily flights will be cancelled as the Mumbai airport will remain closed for six hours a day, over 22 days. The closure will allow the airport to re-carpet the intersections of its two runways.
As per the online booking website, yatra.com, flight fares have increased by up to 96 per cent. Most affected routes include Delhi-Bombay, Goa-Bombay and Hyderabad-Bombay, with the Delhi-Bombay route being the worst hit as 33 flights on the route will be cancelled every day. Other major routes to be most impacted are Mumbai-Goa (18 flights cancelled) and Mumbai-Bengaluru (16 flights cancelled).
The official added that while all impacted domestic flights have been either rescheduled or cancelled, most international ones have been rescheduled. The two runways of MIAL together handle about 85 flights an hour. While the primary runway handles about 50 flights an hour, the second one sees 35 take offs.
Sharat Dhall, COO, yatra.com, said: “With the Mumbai airport being slated to remain closed for six hours, it may lead to flight cancellations and due to which the airfares have seen a hike of about 20 per cent on routes to and from Mumbai. Additionally, due to changing weather conditions like impaired visibility because of increased fog, few routes like Delhi have witnessed a significant increase in spot airfares.”
Aditya Chawla, head of operations, EaseMyTrip, said: “People are facing issues due to the change in flight timings and cancellations… In future, the fares are expected to rise by around 65-70 per cent as compared to normal fares.”