2017 seems to be the year of Runway Closures, and not one but many in a go!
Like I wrote about in January, the main runway at Mumbai Airport (09/27) is going to be shut down for 3 months between February through April 2017 between 9 am and 5 pm. As one of the busiest airports in India, an 8 hour closure of the main runway is perhaps going to affect capacity deployed a lot! They already had another small shutdown in the last quarter. The airport stopped giving out new slots to airlines long ago, and this has constrained the growth of Vistara in Mumbai. The runway was supposed to be shut down with effect from February 1, 2017, but it actually went underway with it from February 5, 2017.
— Sierra (@sierra7x7) February 7, 2017
Bangalore is up next, and co-incidentally operated by GVK as well. There will be a 6.5 hours shutdown everyday from February 19, 2017 to April 30, 2017 between 10:30 am and 5 pm. Not just that, the schedule of flights will be also affected when Aero India happens between February 14 and February 18, 2017 in Bangalore. Then, there is also the work on the second runway, which will take till 2019 to complete.
However, there is more. Trivandrum has been under a runway closure already for a month now. The runway is closed for 6 days a week between 10:30 am and 5:15 pm, all the way through March 2017.
These are the 3 runways already underway with maintenance closure, and more seem to be on the way. Varanasi seems to be on the list for an upgrade shortly.
Ticket prices are already a mess between Mumbai and Bangalore, with tickets soaring up like crazy, and I’d expect the closure of Bangalore Airport Runway to add to this problem now. If you have any plans to travel over this quarter, perhaps it is a good great idea to book your tickets now and plan outside these timings to ensure you have minimal disruption to your travel plans.
Are these closures affecting your schedule? Do let us know how you intend to cope with them…