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Full shift to 1D may get delayed

After starting operations after a long delay, the shifting of more airlines to the new domestic departure terminal 1D of Delhi airport could take more time.

delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2009 01:36 IST
Sidhartha Roy

After starting operations after a long delay, the shifting of more airlines to the new domestic departure terminal 1D of Delhi airport could take more time.

Kingfisher, Kingfisher Red and IndiGo were the first airlines to shift to the new terminal from the old terminal 1B and start operations on April 19. Three other airlines — Jet Airways, JetLite and SpiceJet — were expected to shift in the next phase after April 26.

The new terminal is almost twice the size of the old terminal 1B, which is of World War II vintage. Airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) plans to demolish the old building or create some other facility in the building.

The new terminal was expected to open latest by the first week of April but the deadline was missed as airlines complained about the extra costs they had to incur in shifting from the old terminal.

“Shifting to this terminal is unnecessary because all full-cost airlines would anyway shift to the new integrated terminal T3, which would open in 2010,” said an official of a private full-cost carrier who is not authorised to talk to the media.

Another bone of contention between DIAL and the airlines is on charges the carriers would have to pay for using the Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) system. The system allows any airline to operate from any counter instead of a fixed one.

This system would be run by another company that would charge for its service.

“The airlines do not want to pay these extra charges and right now negotiations are going on between DIAL and airlines so they shift as early as possible,” said a senior airport official who did not wish to be named. “Though Jet Airways and JetLite were expected to be the first one to shift but due to this problem, Kingfisher and IndiGo shifted first,” he said.

DIAL, however, claimed there was no delay in the shifting. “The date for shifting of airlines was never fixed and the final date for second phase of shifting is yet to be decided,” said a DIAL spokesman.

“The charges for CUTE is around only Rs 35 per passenger and there is no issue over that with the airlines,” he said.