Delhi Airport’s proposed infrastructure of the domestic terminal upgrade faces a major roadblock as IndiGo has moved court against the direction to partially shift its operations to Terminal 2. DIAL-operator of Delhi Airport had asked the airline to shift its flights to Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore by January 4.
In its petition filed before Delhi High Court, IndiGo has asked for a stay on the shifting order challenging the airport operator’s authority to decide the course of action regarding shifting of operation.
“the restrictions sought to be imposed by DIAL could destroy IndiGo’s business, the reputation of which has been built up over last 11 years. DIAL’s directions are completely arbitrary and do not have any nexus with the object sought to be achieved- decongestion,” IndiGo said.
IndiGo has also made Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) a party to the case.
Multiple rounds of negotiations between the airport operator and the airlines failed after the airport operator had asked the airlines to shift. According to the plan, IndiGo, Spicejet and Go Air were asked to shift one-third of their flights to Terminal-2, by October 29. IndiGo which operates 306 daily flight services including 86 to Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore refused to shift saying that it will lead to loss of business as October was a peak traffic season and shifting would lead to inconvenience for passengers. A maximum number of passengers that can travel to Delhi by IndiGo are from these three sectors, this will lead to widespread confusion among our passengers,” IndiGo said.
DIAL then extended the deadline to January 4. Meanwhile, GoAir, however, recently announced that it was moving its entire operations to the new terminal. At present, low-cost domestic carriers IndiGo, Spicejet operate from T1, Go Air from T2 whereas Vistara, AirAsia India and Air India operate from Terminal-3.
DIAL officials, however, said that IndiGo’s decision to move court will stall development work and in turn can cause inconvenience to IndiGo. “This decision will even hamper IndiGo’s prospects of growth. From where will the slots come from, IndiGo is growing at a fast pace, the terminal needs to have the infrastructure to handle that or their growth will suffer too,” said an official.
According to the master plan of expansion, T1’s area would be increased to 133,000 sqm from 53,000 sqm, and it would be able to handle 23 million passengers.
Ten aerobridges would be constructed and the number of boarding gates would be increased from eight to 25. Other low-cost domestic carriers would be shifted to Terminal 1 after the expansion.
DIAL also plans to construct Terminal 4, in the area where currently Terminal 2 is located.Terminal 4 would cater to full-service domestic carriers, such as Air India and Jet Airways.
Once T-4 is constructed, full-service domestic operations of Jet Airways and Air India and other such airlines will be shifted there and T-3 would only deal with international flights.