In order to ease runway congestion, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has directed Indian carriers to cancel thirty flights daily until March 30.

Overall, just approximately 3% of the daily flights handled by the Mumbai airport have been canceled, according to government officials. About 30 of the 1000 daily movements that the airport handles-including arrivals and departures-will be canceled. The airport will continue to operate at full capacity even with this cut, an official stated.

On Tuesday, Akasa Air declared that it would be canceling ninety of its flights to Mumbai through the end of the next month.

Although SpiceJet did not say how many flights it was canceling, the airline informed Business Standard that it had cooperated with the government’s instruction.

This publication was informed by a senior official of a major Indian airline that the airline planned to postpone hundreds of flights, though the exact number was still being discussed with the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).

Due to runway congestion, which has decreased airlines’ on-time performance, the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s AAI has requested that Adani Group-run MIAL restrict flights.

The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday night: “While Mumbai Airport is running at its full capacity, it was found that the persistent congestion was caused due to: excessive slot distribution with limited time margins on behalf of the airport operator; non-adherence of the slots on behalf of the airlines and; non-scheduled operations during peak hours.”

The ministry stated that MIAL should have taken proactive measures to streamline and regulate air traffic movements since it is both the airline’s slot manager and provider. “However, since no such action was initiated by them, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has had to step in,” said the statement.

Based on statistics from aviation analytics firm Cirium, Akasa Air and SpiceJet operate approximately 54 and 34 flights daily, respectively, to and from the Mumbai airport.

The larger airlines, such IndiGo and Air India, have about 370 daily flights to and from the Mumbai airport, and 163 daily flights from there.

The publication reached out to MIAL, Air India, AIX Connect, Vistara, and IndiGo but none of them responded.

According to a representative for Akasa Air, measures being taken to lessen runway congestion at the Mumbai airport are anticipated to have an impact on the airline’s flight operations to and from Mumbai.

“We have to rationalize our network in light of this impact, which will result in the cancellation of flights QP 1374 (which runs from Mumbai to Bengaluru) and QP 1362 (which runs from Bengaluru to Mumbai) between February 15 and March 30, 2024,” the statement continued.

There are two daily services that the airline has had to cancel. Akasa is canceling 90 flights from February 15 to March 30 as a result.

“We are reaching out to the impacted passengers in advance, offering them the choice to receive a full refund or make another reservation at no extra cost. Rebooking is available to passengers till April 15, 2024, on any date. A representative for Akasa Air stated, “Our airport services team is also prepared to assist passengers on the ground as required. Our Akasa Care Agents are proactively assisting passengers to minimize inconvenience.”

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