The Indian capital Delhi has won its spurs with its international airport ‘IGI Airport’ emerging as a bigger Indian air travel hub leaving the Indian financial capital Mumbai behind. According to the latest reports, the Delhi Airport has superseded Mumbai Airport as the busiest in India.
The air travel traffic movement figures clearly show that Mumbai airport, which maintained the status of being the busiest airport since 2006-08 has now reached to a point of saturation because of the shortage of space and postponement in constructing a second airport.
Both Delhi and Mumbai have been the preferred choice of international travellers who book cheap flights to India for their holidays with numerous full service and cheap airlines serving them. However, the severe space crunch at Mumbai Airport and the resulting limited infrastructure is being seen as the major cause for it to lag behind in passenger traffic.
Another major reason for decline in passengers booking tickets for flights to India and landing at Mumbai airport is that the airport has cross-runways, which make simultaneous flight functioning unachievable. This obviously has restricted Mumbai airport’s flight handling capacity. Delhi’s parallel runways can handle simultaneous flights operation which means more flights to India landing and taking off from here.
The analysts believe that in the coming times, when Mumbai airport will reach the mark of 40-million-passenger traffic, it will be locked. The neighbouring Navi Mumbai airport is expected to get active by 2017 only and is Mumbai's only ray of hope to reclaim its lost status and traveller’s attention when they book cheap flights to India. Till that time Mumbai airport is a closed airport, as experts believe.
Kapil Kaul, CEO, sub-continent and West Asia says that the government will have to speed up the clearances for Navi Mumbai Airport or else evaluating Mumbai and Delhi will be like “comparing cheese and chalk”.