The ongoing chaos at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport got worse on Sunday as Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways also shifted their operations there, following Air India.
Nearly 90% of flights operated on Sunday were delayed and it was the passengers who bore the brunt.
Kingfisher and Jet Airways flights were delayed because they hadn’t taken into account the size of T3. Walking 1.3 kilometres from the entry gate to the boarding gate delayed both passengers and crew.
Air India, which shifted its operations to T3 over two weeks back, continues to be the worst affected as it faces staff shortage despite announcing walk-in interviews to hire personnel.
"Both airlines' staff and passengers are not used to the new terminal. Though passengers have been asked to report well before time, it is the distance inside the terminal that is affecting operations," said an airport source, adding, "Air India is still battling with staff shortage and hasn’t been able to operate even a single flight on time."
Kingfisher and Jet that moved to T3 on Sunday claimed these are just teething troubles and things will be settled within a week. "The transition of operations for our domestic flights to T3 went off smoothly," said Prakash Mirpuri, vice-president, corporate communication, Kingfisher Airlines.
Air India passengers of Lucknow and Patna-bound flights protested inside the terminal building on Sunday as their flights were delayed by over four hours. Despite tying up with the two ground handling agencies, flights continued to get delayed.
"Ground handling is an issue and we have tied up with Cambata Aviation and Bird Group. Both agencies are looking after 40 flights while our own agency is looking after 60 flights," said an Air India spokesperson.