After lots of dilly- dallying and court battles, the largest airline IndiGo has agrreed to relocate a chunk of its operations to the revamped terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi airport in the national Capital from March 25.
Another budget carrier SpiceJet too had announced yesterday that it would move 22 of its flights to seven destinations from March 25 to the T2. GoAir had already moved its entire operations to T2 last October.
The IndiGo decision comes after the Supreme Court had last month dismissed its petition against the airport operator GMR Group which had asked these low-cost carriers to partially move to the T2 which has been revamped at a cost of Rs 100 crore.
As part of the move, IndiGo will operate as many as 10 sectors--Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Raipur, Srinagar, Udaipur, Vadodara and Vishakhapatnam--with 6E2000-6E 2999 flight numbers, Delhi International Airport said in a statement today.
SpiceJet will relocate seven sectors--Ahmedabad, Cochin, Goa, Gorakhpur, Patna, Pune and Surat--to the new terminal with SG 8000 to SG 8999 flight numbers, it said.
The shifting of partial services to the new terminal, which has been refurbished at a cost of Rs 100 crore, from the existing terminal T1 will pave the way for expansion work at T1, the airport operator said.
There are three operational terminals--T1, T2 and T3. While IndiGo and SpiceJet operate their domestic services from T1, GoAir flies from T2.
State-run Air India and private carriers Jet Airways and Vistara have their operations from the international terminal T3.
While GoAir moved its entire operations to T2 last October after DIAL asked the three airlines to shift a part of their services to T2, IndiGo had challenged the decision in Delhi High court and subsequently in the apex court.
However, the Supreme Court dismissed IndiGo's plea on February 23, leaving the carrier with no option but to comply with DIAL's of October 21, 2017 directive.
Following the SC order, both IndiGo and SpiceJet had submitted lists of sectors to DIAL for shifting to T2, which gave its consent to the list, the release said.
The shifting, however, is a temporary move to ease the pressure of fast growing traffic at T1, which has a capacity to handle 20 million passengers at present. DIAL plans to double this capacity to 40 million with the expansion.
As part of its expansion plans, DIAL is looking to expand the passenger handling capacity of the two terminals, re-commission operations at T2 and build a new runway, in addition to the three existing ones, by 2021.
The operator also said it will initially provide transfer services between T1 and T2 to those passengers who land at the wrong terminal.
"IndiGo is reaching out to all passengers and their respective travel agents via SMS, calls, and e-mails provided in reservation. In the event a passenger missing our flight due to the change in terminal, we will rebook the flight at no extra charge," IndiGo said in a statement.