Topic Author
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:04 am

Flight Timings In India

Mon Dec 09, 2002 3:56 pm

I really don't know if this is a stupid question but i've been wondering it for a while.....

How come India's two biggest international airports; Delhi and Mumbai all have there peak arrival and departures from 11:00pm until 5:00am. It seems like all the international airlines fly to both airports in the middle of the night. Even Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines. I understand why European Airlines fly to India so late because of the time zones.

How is Delhi and Mumbai able to handle so many flights at one time period in the night. When I was in Delhi a few months ago the airport looked like world's busiest in the nighttime hours but during the day time the airport was like nobody was there. Of course the domestic airport was busy but the international and domestic airports are seperates at BOM and DEL.

Does anybody know where I could get maps of terminals at BOM and DEL. I know DEL has maybe about 10 gates for international airlines but may have more remote terminals.

If you look at timetables for India it seems like all international airlines arrive in DEL or BOM around 12:00am - 2:00am and depart two hours later.

It really sucks to stay up all night to get an international flight out of India.
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Flight Timings In India

Mon Dec 09, 2002 11:24 pm

yeah i took a BA 747-200 (Chelsea Rose) flight from BOM-LHR last summer, it left at 2:30am, I think they do it because you get to your destination in the morning from either like 6am-9am. It wasnt that bad, I remember seeing a Swiss Air Md-11 and a Lufthansa 747-200 also leaving at the same time as us. The CX 777-300 we took into there arrived at 9, and left around 10:30 and continued to Abu Dubai.
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 12:18 pm

RE: Flight Timings In India

Tue Dec 10, 2002 12:46 am

For one, this is becuase of the slot restrictions at the European Airports.
The traffic from India to europe are mostly low yield connecting traffic basically to US and these naturally get dumped into the early morning arrivals into Heathrow (for eg) as it opens after the night curfew. Also since most of these are connecting traffic and not origin destination traffic, it actually gives better connections. BA for eg had a flight which was leavinbg at 0830 in the morning to LON from Chennai arriving at around 1430 bu this basically meant they lost out on most of the connections to US as most of the connections would have left by then and even those connections whjich were availalbe were ending up with late ningt arrivals in US. Similar with the east bound traffic, most of SQ flights ex BOM and DEL connect with the LAX and SFO connections around 9 Am from SIN.
It is not too bad, especially the eastbound ones to KUL and SIN on MH and SQ as departures are arund 2300-2400 window that means you leave for the airport late evening and you reach most destinations at a sensible time. Infact I would take a 2320 departure from MAA reaching Singapore at 0600 than take a 1220 dep on AI reaching SIN around 1730 wasting the whole day!

But incidentally this is also the reason why the Gulf carriers like EK QR and GF are capturing a lot of European traffic as the schedules are much more convenient than the European Carriers who have scheduled their flights to link their US departures. A dep around 0900 AM on these carriers from India will mean you can make it to LON or PAR by around 1700.But I guess ,except for UK and may be to a limited extent Germany, there is not much of the terminating traffic in these euopean countries.