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Driven by passion for passenger-centric experiences

Chhatrapati Shivaji Mumbai International Airport, otherwise known as Mumbai International Airport, looks back over 2021 and the measures they took to protect staff and passengers, and looks ahead to the future and how they are hoping to provide ‘first-of-its-kind’ experiences for their passengers, placing India on the map.

Driven by passion for passenger-centric experiences

Credit: Chhatrapati Shivaji Mumbai International Airport

The past year witnessed whirlwind changes and a dynamic shift in the aviation industry after the second innings of COVID-19. There has been an uptick in passenger traffic since mid-2021 and the industry is slowly recovering. Even with Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19 looming in the air, November recorded 64 per cent rise in domestic air traffic – which is the highest since the pandemic broke, according to a report by the ICRA.

Over the next 12 months, Chhatrapati Shivaji Mumbai International Airport (CSMIA) aims to create a steady momentum of growth by undertaking various initiatives, along with its stakeholders, to increase the overall efficiency of the airport, while keeping in mind the safety, security, and wellbeing of passengers and its personnel. These include enhancing CSMIA’s connectivity domestically, and internationally, as and when the government eases restrictions, and continuing to mould the operational functionalities into a healthy and systematic mechanism, building India’s largest airport-based Pharma Cargo handling capacity, introducing new brands and categories at the terminal, advanced and contactless IT systems and superior safety features that will give one of the busiest airports in the world a unique selling point.

Safety and security

2021 proved to be a challenging year for the aviation industry, as it was for CSMIA, with the second wave of COVID-19 in May 2021, an extended ban on scheduled international flight movement till 31 January 2022, varied restrictions across state and countries, and the ongoing Omicron variant. Despite these factors, CSMIA stood true to its goal of steady growth. The airport introduced several measures to further up the ante of safety and security SOPs to curb the spread of the virus and boost passengers’ confidence in air travel. These included e-gates, QR-code based check-in experience, stringent sanitising at regular intervals, deep cleaning at all touchpoints, a separate entry gate for passengers travelling to Dubai, and our latest measure – a separate corridor for passengers arriving from ‘at-risk’ countries, amongst many others. The airport also showcased the effectiveness of its monsoon contingency plan as it remained consistently operational despite heavy rains. Moreover, CSMIA efficiently managed a full scale emergency when a Beechcraft flight belly landed at the airport in May 2021.

The airport has promulgated the safety and wellbeing of the passengers, visitors and personnel through its astute thought, conscientious planning, and meticulous strategy”

CSMIA has a constant endeavour to be a ‘Gateway to Goodness’, and has been working relentlessly to provide a safe haven for all the passengers travelling through the airport, while adhering to stringent protocols and norms mandated by the government bodies. Even when the aviation industry stood at the cusp of making paradigm shifts, CSMIA, along with all its employees and stakeholders, worked resiliently to facilitate smooth operations. CSMIA has seen 13 new domestic and 10 new international destinations introduced since March 2020, and has currently reached 85 per cent of its pre-COVID domestic traffic level, and 35 per cent of to its pre-COVID international air traffic. In an effort to set new standards and achieve new goals, CSMIA is working tirelessly to provide memorable experiences for its passengers.

Creating customer-centric experiences

CSMIA has been working towards elevating its facilities and services to create a seamless and contactless passenger journey at the airport”

At present, CSMIA offers 32 international destinations under the air bubble agreement and 62 domestic routes to passengers flying out of Mumbai. Come 2022, the airport, with the support of the government of India, plans to recommence its scheduled international air connectivity.

CSMIA’s iconic Terminal 2 is India’s first – and most advanced – vertical passenger terminal that integrates world-class design, architecture, infrastructure, and operational efficiency, with a rich infusion of Indian heritage and cultural character. CSMIA has maintained its magnificent infrastructure offering a seamless facilitation in transit for its passengers; the airport has promulgated the safety and wellbeing of the passengers, visitors and personnel through its astute thought, conscientious planning, and meticulous strategy. To maximise customer experience, CSMIA constantly brings new additions to retail and F&B offerings. CSMIA’s ‘Pranaam service’ is a one-of-a-kind customer centric facility. Pranaam Services has been designed in the spirit of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ – which means the guest is equivalent to God.Alongside the development and growth of domestic routes, the terminal is expected to see steady growth in passenger traffic. With the vision to become one of the world’s best airports, CSMIA has been working towards elevating its facilities and services to create a seamless and contactless passenger journey at the airport. The airport’s T2 has become a major gateway offering exceptional infrastructure facilities, aiding the introduction of pioneering services and advanced technology.

Essential cargo

In September, CSMIA welcomed the Hong Kong Air Cargo’s maiden freighter aircraft, thus carving a place for itself in the global logistics industry and building new global ties”

During the pandemic, CSMIA’s air cargo continued to help cater to the need of mobilising essential cargo. In FY21, CSMIA facilitated over 3,697 tonnes of essential COVID-19 supplies including diagnostic kits, face masks, other medical equipment and over 150,000 tonnes of pharmaceuticals. In September, CSMIA welcomed the Hong Kong Air Cargo’s maiden freighter aircraft, thus carving a place for itself in the global logistics industry and building new global ties. FY21 also saw a 52 per cent rise in annual cargo volume, compared to FY20. CSMIA introduced a more seamless and paperless transactional experience – D-cube application which can optimise digital infrastructure by reducing dwell time, and upgraded its air cargo IT system. To improve India’s largest airport-based pharma cargo handling capacity, CSMIA is in the process of expanding its capacity by creating additional facilities in next two to three years.

As the industry continues to traverse the path of recovery, in 2022 CSMIA endeavours to offer unique, one-of-a-kind experiences, building a strong connection with passengers by enriching their experience at the airport. Recognising the unpredictable nature of the aviation industry, and the virus mutating into new variants, CSMIA has put in place various contingencies to mitigate every situation and crisis that emerges. With colossal infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, and a passion for excellence, with its focus and passenger driven approach, CSMIA aims to provide the utmost level of comfort and convenience.

CSMIA endeavours to offer unique, one-of-a-kind experiences, building a strong connection with passengers by enriching their experience at the airport”

CSMIA has been a trailblazer in the aviation industry and has created a benchmark by introducing various ‘first-of-its-kind’ experiences to change the global perception of Indian airports. Through world-class services and offerings, CSMIA strives to be one of the best airports globally, that consistently delights its passengers and becomes the pride of India.

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