From Wednesday evening, international passengers will fly out of Delhi airport’s new Terminal 3 (T3).
The swanky new terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) will begin full scale commercial operations from Wednesday.
Air India’s New York Delhi flight (AI 102), expected to land at 4.45 pm and then dock at T3, will mark the beginning of operations. This was also the first proving flight, with passengers, to dock at T3 on July 14.
International airlines will shift out of the old Terminal 2 and operate all flights from T3.
Domestic flights, however, are expected to start operations from August 27.
The new terminal was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 3.
International flights were expected to start operations from T3 from July 14 and domestic flights from July 31 but the dates were postponed to July 28 and August 27, respectively.
Though private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) had said that it wanted to be sure before opening the terminal, sources said the real reason behind the delay was unfinished work at T3.
“The airlines have brought all the necessary equipment to start operations and their personnel have already been trained. They just need a ‘system changeover’ from Terminal 2 to T3,” said a senior airport official who didn’t wish to be named.
“The check in system is required to be shifted from the old terminal to T3,” he said. Though the first flight at T3 will arrive around 4.45 pm, the airlines will shift their operations in a planned move by 2.30 pm.
“That is the time when no international flight operations take place at the airport. Also, there are less flights on Wednesday compared with the weekend or other days,” said an airline official.
In a statement, Jet Airways said that it will have 32 check in counters and other facilities at T3. The airline also plans to make T3 one of its international hubs. Air India too have similar plans and enhanced operations from T3 is part of its turnaround plan.
The national carrier will have 56 check-in counters at the new terminal.