Delhi airport plans levying higher charges for grounded aircraft
An official said the grounding of the aircraft was due to various reasons, including technical issues and some airlines going into insolvency proceedings.
Delhi airport operator DIAL plans to levy higher charges from airlines for grounded aircraft as they occupy available parking space and impact overall operational efficiency, amid rising instances of grounding of planes due to technical and other issues. "We are planning that in the next traffic calculation, we are going to request that for people who are grounding (aircraft) here for more than a certain period, there should be some sort of higher charges because otherwise, it disturbs the operations of other airlines," Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar told PTI in an interview.
Jaipuriar, who is in charge of the country's largest airport, was responding to a query on whether the operator will look at levying higher charges from airlines for aircraft that are grounded at the airport. The next traffic review of the airport is to happen early next year.
As many as 64 planes of various airlines, including IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India, were grounded at the airport as of November 17, according to an airport spokesperson. A total of 24 aircraft of IndiGo, 6 of SpiceJet, 2 of Air India and 1 of Alliance Air were on the ground, the spokesperson said. Further, 23 planes of Go First, 5 of Zoom Air and 3 of Jet Airways remained grounded at the airport. All of them are currently non-operational airlines.
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An official said the grounding of the aircraft was due to various reasons, including technical issues and some airlines going into insolvency proceedings. Currently, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), operated by DIAL, has 295 parking stands for aircraft.
In a recent report, aviation consultancy CAPA India said, 161-166 planes of IndiGo, Air India, Go First and SpiceJet are grounded in the country and that the total number is projected to rise to 196-201 aircraft by the end of March 31, 2024. "We have the maximum number of parking stands for aircraft. Unfortunately, a lot of that is being used by grounded aircraft... Once these aircraft are off the ground, then we can be comparable to any of the biggest airports in the world in terms of the number of parking stands," Jaipuriar said.
Indian carriers have nearly 1,500 planes on order. Currently, the Delhi airport, which is also the country's largest airport, has three terminals -- T1, T2 and T3. Depending on traffic trends, the operator will decide on having T4. At present, only T3 has international operations. The airport handles around 1,300 to 1,500 flight movements daily.
The expansion of T1 is likely to be completed by February-end next year and the operator has plans to convert T2 into an international terminal for a short term. At present, T2 is for domestic flights.
The airport expects to have more than 70 million passenger traffic in the current fiscal ending March 2024.