Mumbai

City airport spreads wings, starts direct flights to southeast Asia

Flying high: The SpiceJet flight will be the fourth non-stop international flight from Mumbai in the last 60 days.

Flying high: The SpiceJet flight will be the fourth non-stop international flight from Mumbai in the last 60 days.   | Photo Credit: PUNIT PARANJPE

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SpiceJet’s non-stop flight to Hong Kong to be launched today

The GVK-led Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) has expanded its reach to southeast Asia by starting direct flights to countries such as Singapore and Thailand.

The launch of SpiceJet’s newest route, Mumbai to Hong Kong, at 1.05 a.m. on Wednesday will make it the fourth non-stop international flight from Mumbai in the last 60 days (the other three being Singapore, Thailand and Riyadh). Catering to 48.8 million passengers, MIAL has witnessed an increase in passenger traffic to southeast Asian countries. A MIAL spokesperson said, “Fostering accessibility and profound connectivity to the southeast Asian countries, the Mumbai international airport will soon see an increase in the flight frequency to Bangkok and Singapore within one month.”

A total of 4,88,538 passengers (669 per day, each way) travelled the Mumbai-Bangkok-Mumbai route in 2018-19. With 24 daily flights on an average, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) caters to 27% of the total passenger traffic between Mumbai and the southeast Asian countries. The spokesperson said, “The expansion of GoAir, IndiGo, Vistara and now SpiceJet flights to the existing fleet to these countries will not only boost MICE travel (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) but also accelerate leisure tourism.”

The CSMIA also witnessed rise in passenger traffic to places in the Middle East such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Muscat. During 2018-19, a total of 1,71,041 passengers (234 per day, each way) travelled the Mumbai-Abu Dhabi-Mumbai route. Similarly, 2,21,708 passengers (304 passengers per day, each way) travelled between Mumbai-Muscat-Mumbai.

The spokesperson said, “Passengers have access to southeast Asian and middle-eastern countries with multiple airline flying directly or operating routes via destinations from the Mumbai airport. While CSMIA sees massive outflow of passengers travelling to destinations via Mumbai, it also witnesses heavy inflow from countries such as United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Singapore, United Kingdom (London), Thailand (Bangkok), and Saudi Arabia (Jeddah).”

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 6:40:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/city-airport-spreads-wings-starts-direct-flights-to-southeast-asia/article28764466.ece

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