Long wait for a jumbo ride | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Long wait for a jumbo ride

If you wish to fly in the super jumbo Airbus A380, you will have to take a flight from either Dubai or Singapore. The world’s largest passenger airliner is not going to operate from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport anytime soon.

delhi Updated: Jul 16, 2010 00:00 IST
Sidhartha Roy

If you wish to fly in the super jumbo Airbus A380, you will have to take a flight from either Dubai or Singapore. The world’s largest passenger airliner is not going to operate from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport anytime soon.

Emirates Airlines brought the Airbus A380 from Dubai to IGI Airport today, which docked at the new Terminal 3. The last time the super jumbo was in the capital was in May 2007 when Airbus and Kingfisher Airlines had brought it here as part of a special celebration.

Delhi’s IGI Airport already has a runway equipped to land an Airbus A380 and now it’s yet to be opened Terminal 3, too, is built to handle an A380 flight.

The capital, however, will not witness regular A380 flights for at least for the next one year. Reasons: the necessary permissions are not yet in place and the airlines don't have immediate plans to start flights. Emirates Airlines has 11 Airbus A380s in its fleet, the largest in the world, and plans to induct more. The airlines, however, don’t plan to fly the aircraft from Delhi in the near future.

“We will start operating flights on A380 from Delhi as and when there is a space (demand and market) for the plane,” an Emirates spokesman said.

Kingfisher Airlines had put five A380s on order and plans to operate them on long haul flights from Delhi. The airline, however, is tightlipped about when it will induct the aircraft in its fleet and start operations.

The other airlines operating from Delhi that have A380s are Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. Lufthansa has already sought permissions to deploy A380s on Delhi-Frankfurt flights but has yet not got the approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

“To operate the A380 aircraft between India and another country, we need to first sign bilateral agreements,” said a Ministry spokeswoman.

“This can only happen in the winter schedule.” The winter schedule will start from the end of October.

At present, the bilateral between India and other countries include operations of normal wide body aircraft that can accommodate up to 400 passengers. The A380 can fly up to 850 passengers in a single flight and that configuration has to be first added in the bilateral agreements.