Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has become the second Indian airport after Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International to join the list of global airports hosting more than 40 million passengers a year.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport in United States which handled over 101 million passengers in 2015, leads the pack according to Airports Council International, a trade representative. Beijing Capital International with 89.9 million passengers and Dubai with 78 million, came second and third on the list.
Passenger volume at Mumbai grew from 36.6 million in 2014 -15 to 41.7 million in the year that ended in March 2016.
But despite notching up that milestone, there’s bad news for passengers flying out of the City of Dreams.
According to industry experts, long waits for fliers could get worse with the city airport crossing its originally designed capacity of 40 million passengers a year. Mumbai airport had the poorest punctuality record among the four private-run metro airports in the country, finishing at the bottom of the list almost every second month over the past two years.
With work on the Navi Mumbai Airport yet to start, fliers from Mumbai are likely to be stuck with poor services despite paying a premium for the swanky airport, said industry experts. “Passengers did not have to pay airport charges such as user development fee and airport development fee until the airport was privatised. If one has to face long waits and mediocre services despite paying a premium why privatise them?” said a member of the Air Passengers’ Association of India.
The Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson did not comment on HT’s query on saturation and congestion.