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Airport express line to have baggage handling, check-in facilities soon

The impasse over baggage handling and check-in facilities at the upcoming Airport express line network has finally come to an end.

delhi Updated: Dec 18, 2010 00:54 IST

The impasse over baggage handling and check-in facilities at the upcoming Airport express line network has finally come to an end. If sources are to be believed, Air India and some private airlines are likely to introduce the facilities at three Metro stations of the high-speed private Metro line within a few days.

The much-awaited Metro service, which missed the Commonwealth Games deadline, seems to be finally ready to start rolling once the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) inspects the 22.7-km network and gives it the go-ahead. Although the Commissioner is yet to decide upon the dates for inspection, it is likely to be done soon, said RK Kardam, CMRS.

According to Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL) of Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire company of the line, Air India have already looked at the infrastructure and facilities made available for baggage handling and passenger check-in at the three Metro stations — New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium and Dhaula Kuan. Out of these, the facility at Dhaula Kuan may take some more time to get operational due to some pending works at the station.

“Talks with the Air India and a few private airlines, including Jet Airways and Kingfisher, are in an advanced stage. They are expected to start operations in these three stations soon. Once Air India comes in picture, others will also follow suit,” KP Maheshwari, director, DAMEPL, told the Hindustan Times. Some airlines have agreed to enter the deal following a price negotiation with DAMEPL. According to the earlier proposition, airlines would pay a huge amount of money to the DAMEPL for each passenger. DAMEPL, however, did not disclose the negotiated price.

The Air India is expected to start trials at the three Metro stations within a few days, said sources. “We are expecting to start the Metro service at least with the additional facilities provided by the Air India. Also, we are expecting some private airlines to start operations within 15 days,” said Maheshwari.

Last Monday Civil Aviation ministry gave a go ahead to the proposal of providing passenger check-in facilities at the Metro stations. Initially, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security had denied giving permission for proposed passenger check-in facilities on security grounds. However, it later agreed to allow baggage handling.

“The situation is favorable and we are hopeful of providing value-added facilities to our travellers soon. Ministry of civil aviation has played a pivotal role in it,” he said.

First Published: Dec 18, 2010 00:50 IST