Mumbai News

Covid-19 in Mumbai: Flight operations down from 950 to about 600 in city, only 2,000 people run operation – Times of India

MUMBAI: A skeletal staff of just over 2,000 ran the city airport on Sunday, as the 14-hour janta curfew whittled down flight operations to about 600 arrivals and departures. The number is expected to dip further as the Indian government’s decision to suspend international flight operations for a week will come into effect at midnight on Sunday.
“About 100 international flights that are currently being operated will go off the radar from Monday. But if the curfew lifts, the number of domestic flights might go up a bit. On an average, Mumbai airport used to handle about 950 arrivals and departures a day and now it is down to 550 to 600 flights,” said a senior Mumbai air traffic controller.
A source at the airport said that a staff strengh of 45,000 operates at the airport on a normal day. “This number includes those from duty free shops at terminal 2. The number of staff working in the terminal buildings has been going down steadily as airlines have been cancelling flights and passenger loads have been low. On Sunday, due to the curfew, the manpower was further been brought down and the airport was run by a mere 2000-odd airport/airline staffers. A number of them stayed back at the airport at night as we figured they might face problems commuting to the airport when the curfew is on.”
Only a couple of food and beverage stalls are currently operational in terminal 2, largely for transit passengers.
While GoAir suspended its domestic operations for the day on account of the curfew (it suspended its international operations entirely last week), other carriers like Air India, IndiGo and SpiceJet have been operating a curtailed flight schedule. The last international arrival is expected before Sunday midnight and the last departure before the week-long closedown is currently scheduled to be operated around 4am on Monday by Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa.
“There could be changes because of the volatile situation,” the airport source added. The last time the Mumbai airport handled an average of 600 flights a day was way back in 2006. Last summer, following the Jet Airways closure in mid-April, air traffic out of Mumbai had suddenly dipped for a few weeks till Jet slots were allocated to other carriers.

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