The air passengers are in for another shock from the aviation industry after the recent price hike in air tickets. All the passengers who travel via air have to bear with delays, disruptions and have to shell out more from their pocket to get flight tickets owing to maintenance work which is scheduled to take place in starting from next month.
Two of India's busiest airports one each in New Delhi and Mumbai will shut down the runways for carrying out maintenance work which will stretch through the first quarter of 2019. With this, over 2,000 flights are expected to be either rescheduled or cancelled for a brief period of time.
One of the runways situated in Delhi airport will be closed for a period of 13 days in the month of November, while the Mumbai airport will remain closed for six hours thrice in a week starting from February 7, 2019, and the work is likely to get over by March end.
The close down of airports is likely to affect 1,300 flights in Delhi and close to 700 flights in Mumbai. An anonymous airline executive stated that "During both closures, domestic flights will be impacted the most and airlines will be cancelling flights that will lead to fares rising".
The airport operators stated that the runways required to repair and the maintenance work was taken up after consulting all the stakeholders including airline companies. Delhi Airport which has three runways will shut its Runaway 27, one of the oldest runaway which is usually used by flights using Terminal 1D - starting from November 15. It is likely to impact close to 100 flights per day. The repair work is done for ensuring safe aircraft operations and to avoid sudden disruption which will have a greater impact.
In Mumbai, the closure of the airport is done as per the planning as it required the runway to be strengthened. The runaway is set to be closed between 11 am to 5 pm for a period of 52 days starting from February 7, 2019. It will again be closed on October 23 for some time for maintenance of runway which is set to affect a minimum of 32 flights.
One of the airline's executives stated that during both the closures, domestic flights will be affected to a greater extent and airlines will be forced to cancel the flights and this will led to hike in fares during those days.