Delhi: Covid rules to stay as international flights set to resume on March 27 | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi: Covid rules to stay as international flights set to resume on March 27

By, New Delhi
Mar 25, 2022 01:43 AM IST

DIAL said the number of international destinations connecting to the Delhi airport will also increase to over 60 as compared to 46 in the air bubble

With international commercial flight operations set to resume from March 27, 2022, the Delhi airport said on Thursday that it is prepared to handle the increase in passenger load over the next couple of months, and projected the summer traffic this year to be higher than the number recorded in the winter of 2019 – before the onset of the pandemic.

DIAL said passenger traffic was currently around 55% of the pre-pandemic levels. (Picture for representation only/HT)
DIAL said passenger traffic was currently around 55% of the pre-pandemic levels. (Picture for representation only/HT)

An assessment carried out by the airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), showed that there could be 1,029 international departures this summer, a slight increase from the average of 994 international departures in the winter of 2019. The number of international departures in the winter of 2021 was 607.

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DIAL also said while passenger traffic was currently around 55% of the pre-pandemic levels, it could go up to 66% in April. The airport was handling around 165 air traffic movements (ATMs) currently, and it is expected to increase to 300 ATMs every day in summer and could touch 185-190 ATMs as early as the first week of April, DIAL officials said.

DIAL said the number of international destinations connecting to the Delhi airport will also increase to over 60 as compared to 46 in the air bubble (temporary flight arrangements between two countries, such as the Vande Bharat flights). This would necessitate additional check-in and security lanes at the “international to international” transfer area for faster processing, DIAL said.

While six check-in desks are functional at present at the “international to international” transfer area, their numbers will be increased to 10 soon. Similarly, the pre-embarkation security check (PESC) lanes are also being increased from six to eight.

“With the resumption of international commercial flight operations, tourism is likely get a boost as passengers will be able to enjoy direct connectivity to international tourist destinations. DIAL is working with all stakeholders to make the recommencement of International operations after two long years a smooth affair. It is also working with airlines to ensure proper slot utilisation,” a DIAL spokesperson said.

The operator said despite a drop in Covid-19 cases, all Covid-19 protocols, including Covid-testing facility, temperature screening, sanitisation and social distancing will remain in place at the airport.

“The Delhi airport has already registered a recovery of passenger traffic from/to the US, the Middle East and Australia. After the resumption of commercial operations, South-East Asia and Europe are expected to be the main drivers of further international passenger growth,” the spokesperson said, adding that they have also requested additional immigration personnel to tackle the increase in International passenger load.

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