Soon, international air travellers will be able to avail the high-speed airport express metro facility that opened its doors on Wednesday.
Presently, the service on the 23-km corridor is not available when most of the international flights take off, i.e. between late night and early morning.
Most international flights operate between midnight and 6am catering to about 40,000 passengers.
“The service hours will increase shortly once everything stabilizes,” said Lalit Jalan, CEO and director of Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire company of the showcase line.
According to sources, the service period of the Indira Gandhi International Airport-bound metro will increase from 16 hours to 20 hours.
This is expected to have a huge impact on commuter volume, sources said.“We need at least four hours in a day for maintenance of trains and tracks. This is called white period,” said an official who is aware of development plans.
The service is currently available between 6am and 10pm. Within a couple of weeks, the service will start at 4am and continue till 12 midnight, according to official sources.
On the second day of functioning, the airport express registered a footfall of 6,000 passengers till 8.30pm. On Wednesday, total footfall till 8pm was 2,000 passengers.
“This is a swanky service and undoubtedly world-class. Though the line would not attract many airport-bound passengers, the scenario will be different once the service hours increase,” said Sanjeev Saxena, a resident of Patparganj, who was taking a joyride in the train in the afternoon.
“Increase in service hours will also benefit domestic travellers as many flights take off early morning and late evening.”
Manita Sharma, who works at the airport customer care centre, was also quite excited about the service.
“Although the line is meant for airport-bound commuters, city dwellers who are unhappy with autorickshaws will also heave a sigh of relief,” she said.