With Mumbai gradually easing travel restrictions, a survey by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has shown that more than 237,200 passengers arrived at the city airport since the commencement of Unlock 3.0 in August. In comparison, around 170,600 passengers travelled out of the city during the same period — 66,600 lesser.
According to the survey, which was released on Wednesday, while passengers arriving at the Mumbai airport doubled in August as compared to July, there was a marginal increase in passengers flying out of the city. During Unlock 2.0 in July, Mumbai airport registered over 108,500 arriving and around 162,800 departing passengers.
In contrast, during Unlock 3.0, Delhi, Varanasi and Hyderabad recorded arrivals of more than 51,200, 19,700 and 16,100 passengers, respectively.
Mumbai airport authorities said that it is witnessing a steady growth in passengers arriving at the airport. “When domestic flight operations initially resumed on May 25, CSMIA had observed more passengers departing and travelling back to their hometowns. With the rising trend of business travel as the purpose of flying, the airport has observed growth in arriving passengers since August 1,” said airport operator Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).
It added, “Since the resumption of commercial domestic flight operations, CSMIA has catered to a total of 47 sectors in the country, operated by 10 airlines.”
Jitender Bhargava, former executive director of Air India, said, “I do not think that business travel has increased, considering that all meetings are taking place virtually. Increase in arrivals is because of increase in the number of international passengers after quarantine rules have been relaxed. They have their onward domestic flights from airports like Mumbai and Delhi. Similarly, even departing passengers from small cities arrive at big airports and then depart for their international destinations.”
The airport was recently allowed to increase its daily flight operations from 100 (till August) to 200 this month.