As many as 75 flights have been cancelled at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday following the closure on the main runway after a SpiceJet plane skidded and overshot two days ago, an official said.
The Mumbai airport operator has obtained NOTAM (notice to airmen) till midnight for the main runway, where Air India engineers and technicians are working to remove the Boeing 737-800 aircraft that skidded on Monday night. The NOTAM is given to pilots and includes information on potential hazards on a flight route.
"A total of 75 flights have been cancelled till late this evening. While 40 arrivals have been cancelled by various operators, 35 flights that depart from here are also not being operated due to partial operations," the official said. "Besides cancellations, the operations are going on smoothly."
The operations from the secondary runway are being carried out since Monday night, the official said, adding that the aircraft recovery would take some more time.
The main runway of the Mumbai airport is likely to remain closed for flight operations till Thursday. Heavy rains in the city had disrupted operations at the airport Tuesday.
The airport has obtained NOTAM for the main runway, which was ending on Wednesday noon, for another 12 hours from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the official added.
A team of engineers and technicians from Air India has started work to remove the stuck SpiceJet plane with the disabled aircraft recovery kit (DARK). The kit, used to remove stuck aircraft, is only available with the national carrier.
"A 150-metre long ramp is being prepared to push the aircraft out of the grassy area," an official of the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the airport operator, had said.
The Mumbai airport has two runways and the second one can handle only up to 35 aircraft movements per hour, while the main runway can handle 48 plane movements during the same period, according to MIAL. The airport is the second busiest in the country, handling around 1,000 arrivals and departures per day.
Monday's incident occurred a day after another SpiceJet aircraft veered off the runway at the Surat airport due to heavy rainfall.