As a second wave grips the nation and domestic airline passenger numbers dwindled, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) announced re-consolidating of all domestic passenger flights currently operating via Terminal 1.
“In light of the latest developments in the ongoing pandemic situation, CSMIA has decided to re-consolidate all domestic passenger flights currently operating via Terminal 1,” a statement by the airport operator read.
The terminal had resumed operations just a month back. From March 10, catering to 5 domestic carriers, the terminal began with 102 flight movements across 27 destinations on day 1 of its revival. The resumption of services via T1 was expected to help maintain social distancing measures, uphold passenger safety, and ensure a seamless transit.
The rise in COVID-19 cases however changed all that.
With effect from April 21, 2021, CSMIA will now conduct all international as well as domestic flight operations through its iconic advanced Terminal 2. All passengers of GoAir, Star Air, Air Asia, TruJet and IndiGo have been requested to get in touch with the respective airlines for further queries.
During these challenging times, CSMIA said it has been working closely with its stakeholders and relevant regulatory and government bodies to curb the spread of the virus. The airport is strictly adhering to all guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Civil Aviation as well as the Government of Maharashtra.
Just One Month of Operations
After closing operations of Terminal 1 in March 2020 due to the pandemic, CSMIA’s T1 had resumed operations after almost a year and was catering to all domestic flight operations of Go Air, Star Air, Air Asia and Trujet. Further, select flights of IndiGo, with subset series 6E 5500 – 6E 5900, were also operating to and from T1 while the rest continued to operate from Terminal 2.
The terminal comprises of 38 check-in counters operational across the 5 domestic carriers to avoid crowding. CSMIA had also placed 8 Common Use Self Service (CUSS) kiosks on the curb side of the terminal to enable passengers to complete their check-in process without direct interaction with airport personnel; passengers can use the kiosks to print their boarding pass and generate their baggage tag before proceeding for security check.
Officials said the airport will continue to ensure stringent screening of passengers and personnel, including mandatory compliance of wearing face masks and other necessary PPE at Terminal 2. The terminal has established measures to promote the practice of social distancing including floor markers, spaced seating arrangements and installation of plexiglass to minimize face-to-face interactions between airport personnel and passengers.
Experts observed that Mumbai airport was likely to suffer low passenger footfalls in the coming days amid the lockdown-like curbs imposed by the state government in an attempt to contain the rising number of Covid-19 cases in state. According to industry insiders, 40% business of the travel and aviation sector has been affected due to the night curfew imposed in the state.
Also, many states have made it mandatory for passengers arriving from Maharashtra, to have a negative RT-PCR report (not older than 72 hours before departure). With such guidelines, passengers will be discouraged to travel to and from Maharashtra, experts say.
CSMIA, which is the second busiest airport in the country recorded 50.91 lakh passengers in the January to March quarter of current year as compared to the October to December quarter of the previous year.
Mumbai airport has catered to a total of approximately 50,91,730 passengers and over 49,160 flights across domestic and international destinations between January to March 2021.
January-March: 45 Lakh Passengers
Between January to March 2021, CSMIA witnessed the movement of over 5,21,570 international passengers across 7,759 flights as well as approximately over 45,70,150 domestic passengers over 41,407 flights.
During this period, the airport also noted that Dubai emerged as the most popular international destination, having catered to the highest traffic of over 1,60,169 passengers. This was followed by Newark with 54,406 passengers and Male with 50,158 passengers approximately.