Scheduled to start from this month, flight operations from Delhi Airport’s newly renovated Terminal 2 are unlikely to begin before mid-November as several airlines have opposed the GMR’s plan to shift a part of the operations of low cost airlines flying out of Delhi to Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, to the newly renovated Terminal 2 in order to decongest Terminal 1-D which currently handles all such airlines and is operating beyond its capacity. GMR-DIAL (Delhi International Airport Private Limited) is the operating agency of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
Airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir would be affected by such a decision of the GMR and DIAL as they have been operating out of Terminal 1-D in Delhi and have, thus, shown their resentment towards DIAL’s decision.
IndiGo has termed DIAL’s decision “unworkable”, while other airlines have also opposed shifting part of their operations to the new Terminal 2.
In a letter to DIAL last month, IndiGo has called for a mutually acceptable solution to resolve the problem.
“We once again reiterate that we are supportive of DIAL’s initiative to undertake expansion of Terminal 1; however, DIAL’s current proposal is unworkable for us and, therefore, we believe that a mutually acceptable solution needs to be found at the earliest,” the letter sent by the budget carrier to DIAL reads.
A senior SpiceJet staff told this correspondent that the decision to shift part of the operations from Terminal 1-D to Terminal 2 would cause a lot of confusion among both passengers and the shift manager at the airport.
“We understand that Terminal 1-D is congested and it needs to be decongested, but shifting part of the operations is not a solution as we will have to juggle our staff from one terminal to the other, 7 km apart. Even passengers will be inconvenienced as flights to select destinations would be shifted to the new terminal. We hope that an amicable solution is arrived at,” the SpiceJet staff said.
Terminal 1-D, which has a capacity to handle 20 million passengers annually, had handled over 24 million passengers last year—way beyond its capacity.
The expansion plan for Terminal 1-D envisages a new integrated terminal that can handle 40 million passengers per annum. However, a DIAL spokesperson told The Sunday Guardian, “We are in talks with all the airlines and are soon going to come out with an amicable solution to end the impasse.”