India: Mumbai airport gears up for surge in international passengers

With airlines operating at 100 per cent of their scheduled capacity, traffic is heading to pre-Covid levels, official says



Health workers keep vigil as passengers exit the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport upon their arrival from London in Mumbai on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP)
Health workers keep vigil as passengers exit the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport upon their arrival from London in Mumbai on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP)

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 4:15 PM

Civic officials plan to keep a close watch at the arrivals lounge of Mumbai international airport, as they are expecting a surge in the number of visitors, including tourists, NRIs and Indians returning from holidays. The aim is to prevent a surge in Covid-19 numbers, perhaps by some new virus variant.

“In December, we expect an increase in international travellers landing in the city, either to meet families or as tourists,” Suresh Kalani, additional municipal commissioner (health) of the civic body told the media on Tuesday.

“The Mumbai International Airport has said that with the ministry allowing airlines to operate 100 per cent of their scheduled capacity and with the Christmas season lined up, passenger traffic is inching towards pre-Covid days. Any new variant may be enough to rock the boat and we will be monitoring it closely.”

He urged travellers including those coming from abroad to get tested even if they had the slightest of symptoms.

According to civic officials, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra have not witnessed a rise in Covid cases even 10 days after Diwali, when millions of people travelled across cities and different parts of the state. Covid cases in Maharashtra have plunged to the lowest since March 2020.

Rating agency ICRA expects an 80 to 85 per cent increase in international passenger traffic in fiscal 2022, as against a 45 to 50 per cent growth in the domestic sector.

The Mumbai International Airport Ltd said that with the government allowing airlines to operate at 100 per cent of their scheduled capacity, traffic is fast heading to the pre-Covid levels.


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