Airlines add on more flights to Mumbai to cope with seats rush

SHARJAH — Passengers in the UAE affected by the erratic operational status of the international airport in Mumbai since the city was hit by heavy rains two weeks ago, are relieved, as number of airlines have decided to press into service additional flights to cope with seasonal passenger demand.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 7 Aug 2005, 10:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:11 PM

Air Arabia, the regional low-fares airline, will fly an additional flight from August 14 to September 3. According to a statement issued by the airline, the additional flights are being pressed into service to cope with increasing customer demand.

"Mumbai is an important route for us as our first destination in India and is also popular with our customers for both business and leisure travel," commented Harish Kutty, Head of Planning and Revenue Management for Air Arabia.

He added: "With the end of the summer vacations approaching we are making it easier for people to return to the UAE. There is an increasing number of people travelling between the UAE and India to visit family and friends, and we are pleased to be able to offer them more flight choices at an affordable fare."

Flights depart Sharjah Airport twice daily for Mumbai at 4.40pm and 11.50pm arriving at 9.00pm and 4.10am local time, and depart Mumbai at 9.45pm and 5.10am arriving in Sharjah at 11.05pm and 6.30am local time. The additional flights offer a convenient and affordable opportunity for students and families travelling home during the summer.

Meanwhile an official at Indian Airlines told Khaleej Times that the airline will be flying additional 16 flights from Hyderabad to the UAE from August 12 to September 19. During the same period the airline will also have six more flights each from Calicut and Cochin, and two flights each from Trichi and Chennai. The extra flights, the official said, were in response to an increased seasonal passenger demand, and added that Sharjah is the destination for all additional flights.

Flights to and from Mumbai were suspended after the city was lashed by heavy rains on July 23, and runways at the international airport were inundated by the Mithi river located nearby. The current rise in passenger demand, while mostly seasonal in nature, can partly be attributed to the disruption of flights (to and from Mumbai) for almost ten days due to the rains.

Several other airlines operating flights between the UAE and various destinations in the subcontinent are also expected to start additional flights, but the information could not be confirmed as officials were unavailable for comments.

Air Arabia currently flies from Sharjah to eighteen destinations, including 14 flights weekly to Alexandria; nine flights a week to Beirut; daily to Bahrain, Colombo, Damascus, Doha, Mumbai and Muscat; six days a week to Kuwait; four days a week to Dammam; three days a week to Khartoum and Aleppo; and two days a week to Assiut, Jeddah, Riyadh, Luxor, Sanaa and Sharm El Sheikh.

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