A closed runway at the Delhi airport has prompted the railways to increase coaches in its trains between Mumbai and New Delhi to attract flyers as airfare skyrocketed by 86 per cent since the closure on November 15, senior officials said Tuesday.
Runway 27/09 has been closed for “preventive repairs” for 13 days starting November 15 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), operated by DIAL which is the busiest aerodrome in the country and has three runways.
“According to estimates we have received, around 100 flights are being cancelled per day. The ticket prices have surged. We are just giving passengers an alternative solution. The additional coaches will enable us to carry at least 500 passengers extra every day,” a senior official of the railways told PTI.
On Friday (November 16) evening, several travel portals showed a sharp rise in spot airfares. There was an increase in fares from Delhi to Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and other destinations.
Railways has added one coach each to the Mumbai-Rajdhani Express, August Kranti Rajdhani Express between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Mumbai, Maharashtra-Sampark Kranti Express between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Bandra Terminus, and three coaches in the New Delhi-Mumbai Central AC Duronto Express. In total, the increase in coaches will result in the railways augmenting its passenger-carrying capacity by 500 seats.
The railways is now planning to do the same in other sectors such as Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Bengaluru, the official said. Tagged as the busiest airport in the country, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) handled 63.5 million passengers in the fiscal ending March 2018.