MUMBAI: The Mumbai airport handled a record 1,032 flight movements a day on its single runway on November 11, the Diwali weekend. It broke its previous record of 1,004 arrivals and departures set on December 09, 2018. After a lull of five years brought on by airline closures and the pandemic, the Mumbai airport is back to handling over one thousand arrivals and departures a day.
The Mumbai airport has a set of two runways which criss-cross each other. Since only one runway is used at a time, Mumbai technically falls into the single-runway airport category. All the other major metro airports such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, London Heathrow, New York-JFK, Singapore-Changi, Dubai, Sydney etc have a set of parallel runways or more and at any given time, two or more runways are in simultaneous use. The Mumbai airport then operates one of the busiest single-runway operations in the world, along with those like Gatwick-London.
With rise in flight movements, passenger numbers shot up too. The airport witnessed a rise in passenger traffic with a total of 5,16,562 passenger movements during the Diwali weekend from 11 to 13 November, 2023, said Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) on Wednesday. Out of the over 5 lakh passengers who flew in the three days of the Diwali weekend, about 3.5 lakh were domestic passengers while 1.62 lakh boarded international flights.
“The airport catered to over 2,894 flights with 2,137 domestic flights and 757 flights on international routes,” said the airport spokesperson adding that the top destinations for the said three days of the Diwali weekend were Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai while on the international routes it was Dubai, London, Abu Dhabi and Singapore destinations.
“Achieving a record single day air traffic movement of 1,032, CSMIA catered to a total of 161,419 passengers on 11 November witnessing a substantial influx with 107,765 domestic passengers and 53,680 international passengers,” MIAL said.
In 2018, the Mumbai airport first handled over 1000 flight movements in June, hitting the highest number in December. However as Jet Airways, which was based out of Mumbai, began cutting flights to eventually suspend operations in April 2019, air traffic and passenger traffic out of Mumbai fell. By the time other airlines expanded their flight frequencies to compensate for Jet Airways absence, the pandemic broke out in March 2020. It’s for the first time since 2019 that air traffic has crossed four digits for Mumbai airport.