If you are planning to board a flight from Delhi in the coming three days, then, here is an update that might disappoint you. As one of the runways at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport is going to remain shut for maintenance work for the next three days, passengers flying in and out of Delhi will have to brace themselves for higher fares, fewer flight options and long delays. Earlier, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) had informed that runway 11/29 will remain closed for maintenance from November 7 to November 10.
For the next three days, the airport will be operating at 70 per cent of its capacity and will see 800 flights per day instead of the nearly 1,100 flights it handles usually. Sharat Dhall, COO of Yatra.com said, “With fewer flights to and from Delhi, passengers will have fewer travel options to select from. This will also result in increased demand and spur in airfares. There could also be delays during peak hours.” Anticipating delays and cancellations, airlines such as IndiGo are allowing passengers to alter their itinerary free of charge.
“Due to runway closure, all customers have been notified changes well in advance via emails, calls and SMS. We have offered change to next flight and cancellation at no charge,” an airline spokesperson told PTI. The officials have also prepared an alternate standard operating procedure to distribute flights between the two operating runways. According to plan, the shorter runway (09/27) will handle all flights arriving in Delhi and the bigger runway (10/28) will handle those departing from Delhi. However, as per the report, a few airlines, including those offering cargo services, may not be able to adhere to this arrangement as they have bigger planes such as Airbus 380, which will not be able to land on the smaller runway, a source explained.