The pandemic isn’t over yet, but its stranglehold over air travel has started easing up. At the Mumbai airport these days, an average of 660 domestic airline flights arrive and depart daily, which is what the airport handled pre-pandemic as well. Besides, the popular destinations to travel to and from Mumbai are also those of the pre-pandemic days.
The ongoing ‘airline winter schedule’ of domestic flights, planned up to March 26 next year, is a significant jump from 2020 winter schedule with an average of 435 daily flight movements, said a Mumbai International Airport Ltd spokesperson. “But more interestingly, the 2021 average of 660 has surpassed the pre-Covid 2019 average of 657,” said MIAL.
Airports Authority of India data shows that the Mumbai airport handled an average of 661 domestic flights per day in November 2019 and 658 flights per day in December 2019, which is about the same number of flights that will be operated in these winter months. “Destinations such as Delhi, Goa, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai have been on the top in terms of the highest flight frequency during the 2020 and 2019 winter schedule,” said MIAL. The number of flights in the 2021 winter schedule represents a 35 % jump in flights as compared to this year’s summer schedule, which ran from April to November.
For the current schedule, IndiGo led the list with 240 weekly operations, followed by SpiceJet with120 and Go First with 90, said MIAL. “The 2021 winter numbers are expected to be close to the precovid number for IndiGo, SpiceJet (20,400) and Go First (13,200) in terms of the average daily passengers catered to in 2019,” said MIAL.