The Mumbai [ Images ] airport became operational on Thursday following restoration of an alternate runway, two days after it was closed down due to flooding as torrential rains hit the metropolis.
"The first commercial flight -- an Indian Airlines aircraft -- took off for Delhi [ Images ] from Mumbai at 1.20 pm with 145 passengers onboard," Civil Aviation Secretary Ajay Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.
Air services from Delhi to Mumbai have also resumed and airliners have been asked to operate special flights to clear
the backlog of passengers stranded at the airport.
Prasad said the air services began after the Instrument Landing System at the alternate runway at the Mumbai airport (14-32) was made operational. He said Air India [ Images ] was to begin its international operations later on Thursday.
The ILS at the main runway (09-27) would be restored by Wednesday following which air services would be normalised, he said.
The visibility at the airport has improved considerably and the Approach Surveillance Radar was functioning normally, he said.
Earlier, with limited navigational aids made available by the Airports Authority of India, the city airport was made 'partially operational' and four aircraft, including three with relief materials, landed early on Thursday.
"A special flight with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation chairman Subir Raha and his team also landed as we have made the airport available for visual landing by aircraft with the help of limited navigational aids such as the localiser and the distance measuring equipment", AAI airport director Sudhir Kumar said.
Kumar said water has receded and visibility (upto 2.5 km) improved considerably on Thursday.
The runway was flooded and flights were suspended from Mumbai airport since 2.30 pm on Tuesday after the Mithi river adjoining the airport overflowed and inundated the runway.
The AAI had a tough time clearing the drums and other material lying on the runway, after the waters had receded, Kumar said.