The Navi Mumbai international airport is unlikely to be ready for operations before 2022, said Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO of International Air Transport Association (IATA), an airlines’ body that represents about 275 airlines which operate 83% of the global air traffic.
Early this year, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had set a deadline of 2019 for the completion of the airport, which was then revised to 2020.The IATA DG’s statement then makes the government’s 2020 deadline for start of commercial operations a highly unrealistic one.
“The second airport (Navi Mumbai) will be effective at best in five or six or seven years,” said Juniac in an interview to TOI during the three-day IATA annual general meeting held last week. His statement wasn’t India specific. “Everywhere it’s the same. The only airport that was built faster was Istanbul (Turkey),” he said in reference to the average time it takes to build an airport. Juniac who has over 20 years experience in the airline industry and served as chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM before he took over as IATA director general in September 2016.