Freaky Friday at Mumbai domestic airport, 45 flights delayed
The main runway was shut for routine maintenance work on Friday, which might have caused the flight disruptions; Air India also suffered a 10-hour delay at T2 on one of its international flights
Friday turned out to be one of the most chaotic days for passengers travelling from the city airport. With 45 flights delayed in just a day, most domestic passengers were delayed by an average of an hour. These delayed flights included those at Air India, Jet Airways, GoAir, SpiceJet and Indigo.
Air India topped the list with 16 flights being delayed. Representation pic/thinkstock
Air India topped the list with 16 flights being delayed. Jet Airways had nine flight delays, GoAir had seven flights affected, followed by SpiceJet (five flights delayed). Indigo managed to run almost all its flights on time, barring delays to two flights, 6E 217 (Mumbai-Jaipur, 40 minutes) and 463 (Chandigarh to Bangalore via Mumbai, 55 minutes).
Airport officials maintained that most of the flights were delayed due to technical and operational reasons, but sources insisted that the delays were due to the main runway being shut for two hours for regular maintenance work on Friday.
A SpiceJet spokesperson said that its five flights were delayed due to technical snags in its aircraft, that were later taken care of by the airline. “The maximum flight delays were observed to be from the national carrier. The reason for the delay is due to unavailability of crew,” said an airport official, preferring anonymity.
“Every Friday there is routine maintenance and the main Mumbai runway is closed from 2 pm to 4 pm. In addition, from 9 am to 9.15 am, all arrivals were stopped for a runway inspection as a tyre was found on the runway. As a result, the congestion caused severe delays and further consequential delays for GoAir,” said a GoAir spokesperson, in an emailed response to mid-day.
A Jet Airways spokesperson said, “Three flights were delayed due to technical snags. The remaining flights were delayed due to air congestion.”
AI 998 (Sharjah to Kozhikode) that was to land its destination by 11.40 am on Friday made an emergency landing at the city’s Terminal 2 (T2) due to hydraulic issues in the aircraft, which was reported to the city’s Air Traffic Control (ATC).
The aircraft safely landed at 5.15 am. An alternate aircraft was arranged by the airline at around 1.30 pm and the passengers were issued fresh boarding passes. But travellers on this flight had to wait for two more hours, as the pilot of the aircraft had completed his flying hours.
The flight finally took off at 3.30 pm. An Air India spokesperson, while not commenting on the domestic flight delay, confirmed an alternate flight had been arranged, but didn’t give out any other details.
Major flight delays were observed on Friday for the following flights:
AI 629 (Mumbai-Nagpur, 3.5 hours).
AI 647 (Mumbai-Jamnagar, 3.40 hours)
G8 345 (Mumbai-Delhi, 1.30 hours)
S2 4081 (Mumbai-Rajkot, 1.25 hours)
SG 415 (Mumbai-Bangalore, 1.15 hours)
9W 416 (Mumbai-Delhi, 1 hour)