A dip in the footfall at the country’s second largest airport

Posted on February 25, 2021 by

The Covid-19 pandemic that lead to the complete closure of all air services for a period of a couple of months, the previous year, resulted in a massive dip in the number of passengers at the country’s second largest airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) of Mumbai, according to a data by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The period between January – December 2020, saw a massive decrease (73%) in the number of passengers in comparison to 2019. AAI data has reported that the passenger traffic last year was 8,016,456 in comparison to 29,521,918 in the year 2019.

During the pre – covid era, CSMIA recorded a number of 42,000 international travelers every day which later dipped to 18,000 by the middle of March last year. Domestic traffic also suffered a blow, by dropping down by 15 – 20%.

According to experts, bringing the air traffic back to its normal form shall take some time. The former chief executive officer of Alliance Air, CS Subbiah has stated, “How can the air traffic reach pre – Covid levels when we are not even allowing flights to operate at their full capacity? (It won’t happen) unless state governments ease their respective restrictions, and more people are successfully vaccinated. International flights majorly contribute to passenger traffic; hence air traffic and passenger footfall will significantly increase with the opening of the international borders”.

Moreover, the pandemic is not the only reason behind the low number of commuters at the city airport. A fall in the number of travelers is also because of the now-defunct Jet Airways that has suspended its operations. A data reveals that with the suspension of Jet flights, the number of passengers at CSMIA fell to 95,000, 27% lower than the average daily footfall at the airport.