Aviation

No new slots for airlines from Terminal 1 for next 3 years: Delhi airport operator

DELHI: Airlines will not be able to start additional flights from terminal 1 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport for the next three years, the Delhi airport operator said on Friday.

Delhi International Airport Limted (DIAL) is locked in a face-off with SpiceJet and IndiGo, that have refused to shift a third of their flights from terminal 1 (T1) to terminal 2 (T2) to allow expansion work at the existing terminal, reports PTI.

The revamped T2 will open from Saturday after seven years and GoAir is the only airline that has agreed to shift its entire operations from T1.

“I am very clear I will not give any new slots for next three years for T1,” DIAL CEO I Prabhakara Rao told reporters.

He said that even if airlines move some of their flights to the refurbished terminal, there will be no additional slots. Rao explained that the space vacated by airlines was needed to carry out expansion work at T1 and, therefore, it was not possible to accommodate new flights.

“One-third (flights) I am moving only to facilitate expansion work while we are operating (flights simultaneously),” Rao said.

T1 has a capacity to handle 20 million passengers a year, which will be increased to 40 million passengers per year, according to DIAL’s master plan.

The renovated T2 can handle 12 million passengers per annum, up from its earlier capacity of 9 million. It can accommodate 2,500 passengers per hour.

Nine flights of GoAir will start arriving at T2 from tomorrow night and departures will begin from Sunday.

IndiGo has argued that shifting some of its flights will pose operational challenges for the airline as well as inconvenience passengers.

Referring to the reluctance on the part of airlines to relocate to T2, DIAL CEO said everyone has to “share the pain”

“We are all for aviation growth. We all look at passenger’s convenience. Yes we have to share the pain. There is no question of best solution. Best solution is everyone can sit here in one terminal but is it possible?” Rao said.

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