Mumbai: Rs 3,000 to 4,000 for every extra minute of flight — that's what an airline could save on fuel if it did not have to hover over a busy airport like Mumbai or Delhi.
The need for extra runways, inability to clear encroachments and the sudden growth of air traffic when added to Rs 71,000 per kilolitre of ATF means just one thing —no leeway for savings.
"There is no flight that gets to land at an airport like Mumbai without hovering for at least half an hour. Even one minute of hovering means a major loss,” says MD Deccan Aviation Capt Gopinath.
From unorganised traffic in the city of Ahmedabad to incessant traffic jams at Allahabad, as more new cars hit the roads the average speed of vehicles have come down to a mere 40 kmph in Delhi and 30 kmph in Hyderabad. It gets even worse in Mumbai, where it is a mere 25 kmph.
"Infrastructure growth in the country is at least 8-10 years behind schedule. It's just not being able to catch up with the growth of cities as well as the number of vehicles on the road," explains traffic expert Rohit Baluja.
Take for instance the road near IIT Bombay that links the western Mumbai with the central. Blame it on the lack of political will if you may, but the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken more than four years to clear it place of illegal encroachments.
And now it seems that that even as fuel prices stretch the budgets of the common man, and the Prime Minister calls for a tightening of belts across the board, saving fuel might prove easier said than done.