Forty per cent of Mumbai-Delhi flights were delayed between November 7 and 9 due to runway maintenance work at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, shows data from a popular travel booking website. The flights were delayed by 60-90 minutes on an average, according to data from ixigo.
Inclement weather conditions, including the smog in Delhi, too affected flight operations. “Owing to the dense smog over Delhi since November 7 and the subsequent flight delays and cancellations, most carriers have hiked fares considerably. Flights coming into Delhi from Mumbai, for instance, saw a major hit, with an approximate 44 per cent delay rate in this period,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder, ixigo.com.
“Major delays were witnessed during the morning hours. However, with morning flights delayed, subsequent flights too were pushed back. Due to this, delays have been spanning the entire day. The average delay has been about 90 minutes,” Bajpai added.
According to the portal, people have opted to travel between Mumbai and Delhi by train though getting a confirmed ticket in the sector is proving tough. Uday Somayajula, director and co-founder of ePaylater, said, “Travel by both flight and train seem to be suffering because of the smog in Delhi. We have seen a 15 per cent increase in tatkal train bookings to and from Delhi compared to normal weekdays. This may be on account of the flights getting cancelled in the past few days and travellers trying to change their travel mode and opting for trains instead.”
Kanchana Srivastava said she tried to find an alternative to reach Delhi when airfares skyrocketed earlier this week. “The train tickets were booked in no time. I thus had to delay my plan to meet my sister in Delhi this week as the airfares are pretty high,” she said.
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