This is the season of runway closures. Mumbai went through a quick short spell of runway closures last quarter, and Bangalore is up for a long spell of runway closure for maintenance this coming month. Now, turns out Mumbai’s main runway is going off the grid again for a whole lot longer at 90 days.
The Mumbai Airport’s administration has notified the pilots that the airport’s main runway will be closed for operations between 9 am and 5 pm for 6 days of the week from February 1 to April 30, 2017. The runway handles about 50 movements an hour during peak hours, and the secondary runway will take the load during the times the primary runway is closed.
Even then, the secondary runway is shorter and won’t be able to take off all the flights from the main runway, which should mean we will start seeing a revision of schedules from Mumbai shortly. The last time there was a repair undertaken in October 2016, it was reported that about 2100 flights were cancelled.
A sureshot conclusion is the cancellation of the movement of widebodies during this period, since the secondary runway won’t be able to land on the smaller runway.
While this is traditionally a lean quarter, it won’t help the cause of people who are planning to go away on holidays to overlap with School Vacations. We are yet to start hearing from the airlines, but if you are going to plan travel, maybe it is a good idea to travel towards the end of day rather than the beginning of day.
Do you see any impact on your schedule due to Mumbai airport being sort of working at reduced capacity for a few months?