Four domestic carriers have suspended cargo operations from Tuesday to protest against alleged "unfair practices" by the outsourced cargo service agency and the airport operator.
"Since neither DIAL nor the outsourced agency are listening to our problems, we have decided to suspend our cargo operations from this afternoon," an airlines official at the cargo terminal said.
From May 1, Kingfisher, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir have shifted their cargo operations from domestic terminal to cargo terminal, while Air India and Jet Airways have been allowed to operate from their own warehouses at domestic terminal.
"But here, there is neither infrastructure nor the manpower to handle the cargo operations," the official said alleging that we have been telling the Delhi Cargo Service Centre (DCSC), to which airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) have outsourced the operations "but nothing happened".
The four airlines have alleged that by shifting them to cargo terminal they were not given a "level field", as Jet and AI would have an advantage of booking or delivering the cargo within an hour but they cannot book a cargo 30 minutes before the departure of flights, which they used to do earlier.
"Also the charges, at cargo terminal is high. We have to levy an additional charge of Rs 3 per kg, above Rs 18 per kg of cargo charges, these are exorbitant and would deter those will like to book cargo with us," the official said.
The DCSC is charging us at the rates of Bangalore and Hyderabad airports, which are new airports but the Delhi airport is the existing one, so it is totally "unjustified", he added.
Terming it an "unfair practice", the airlines have also written to Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) in this regard.
The other problems which airlines are facing is that of the shifting of cargo from warehouse to the aircraft.
Earlier, these airlines claimed that they were using tractor-trollies to shift the cargo to aircraft but now they have to use trucks and then there are a lot of hassles in getting a security pass issued for the truck drivers, official of another airlines said.
Alleging handlers were not capable of clearing the cargo and delivering it, they said "earlier a cargo used to be delivered within an hour but now it takes more than 12 hours."
"These issues are hampering our business. Until we are heard and solution is chalked out, the four airlines have decided not to accept the cargo," the official said.