Jet Airways got off to a bumpy start as it commenced its domestic operations from the new terminal 2 (T2) of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) on Tuesday. Both check-ins and boardings were delayed.
Confused passengers struggled to find their boarding gates; around 15 even missed their flights.
Airport officials said the airline had to extend its boarding time as passengers who were travelling through T2 for the first time couldn’t find their boarding gates and aerobridges.
Harikrishnan S, a passenger headed for Chennai, was surprised by the long queues at the security check.
“Such a scenario was a first for me. Passengers were frustrated. Arguments broke out, too, since boardings were delayed.”
The going will only get tougher if the knots in the plan are not smoothed out soon. The terminal is expected to see a footfall of around 7,000 per day in the coming days.
The CSIA handles passenger traffic of around 36.6 million per year. A report from consultancy firm CAPA has warned that the airport will reach its saturation — at 48 million passengers a year — in three years.
Sources said a few agencies at T2, like a Customs, have had discussions with MIAL, the airport operator, on coming up with a strategy to increase passenger footfalls post-Jet Airways’ relocation to T2.
Indigo is reportedly expected to shift its operations to T2 by June, but no confirmation on this has been made.
Aviation’s growth problem
By 2030, India’s airport traffic is expected to cross 900 million as per consultancy firm CAPA’s unconstrained forecast. An annual growth of 10% means that there will be a need for additional annual airport capacity of 90 million — equivalent to the combined size of the airports in Delhi and Mumbai today — being constructed every year. CAPA’s constrained forecasts for Indian aviation indicated that domestic passengers will increase from 133 million in 2025 to 733 million in 2050.