THE STALEMATE OVER T1D OPERATIONS IS YET UNRESOLVED SINCE THIS WOULD NOT COMPRISE THE 30% REDUCTION AS PLANNED
The Mumbai head quartered low cost carrier Go Air has come to the rescue again to end the stalemate between airlines and Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) shifting its entire operations to Terminal 2 effective 29th October. The airline has taken a lead to end the stalemate amongst the Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) operating from T1D and the airport operator. This has resulted in the airline shifting its entire operations to T2 rather than the 30% which the airport operator had come up with. This first mover advantage will definitely go a long way in streamlining its operations while the other two carriers – Spicejet and IndiGo battle it out.
DIAL took a view to let the airlines decide on the shifting and when no solution was forthcoming started planning for a shift of 30% of operations by all airlines at T1D. A holistic solution could have been to look at the airport capacity as a whole – T1, T2 and T3 before deciding on who moves. However, this plan could have been fraught with even more opposition from airlines. Air India and Jet Airways have a functional hub with a lot of transfer passengers and partial shift is not possible. Premium carrier Vistara has its major hub at Delhi with lounge which would have led to opposition from the airline. AirAsia India is the other airline which operates from T3 and shifting them to T2 would not have created space for another carrier at T3 nor eased the situation at T1, thus leaving DIAL with no option but to look for options amongst the carriers at T1D.
Airlines move terminals, temporarily and permanently at airports across the world. Many a times the move comes with benefits like discounts, reduced charges, additional slots or even a night parking or two at congested airports. It is unclear what Go Air is gaining out of this or gained from previous shifts though one of its night parking at Mumbai coincided with the shift from T1B to T1A.
Not the first time for Go Air
This is not the first time that Go Air has moved its operations. When T1D started operations in Delhi, Go Air stayed back at the older T1A along with Air India. The terminal was subsequently shut when Air India moved to T3. Go Air then moved to T1D, from where it will move to T2 effective 29th October.
In Mumbai, the airline started operations from T1A, moving to T1B and back to T1A until operations in T1A were shut. The airline currently operates from T1B for both arrivals and departures.
The size of the airline has helped it shift seamlessly unlike larger rivals like Spicejet and IndiGo. The airline has also co-operated with the airport operator effectively at both Delhi and Mumbai.
Go Air would have about 17% of operations from T1D currently. DIAL is looking to reduce the load at T1D by 30%, so the move has not helped the operator at all. Another 20% of the operations are by Spicejet and a movement by Spicejet could help resolve the issue but that leaves T1D just for IndiGo, something which has not been accepted by any of the parties so far.
Media reports indicated proposals by IndiGo to Spicejet on how to move to T2 by rotation and we are running out of time for the start of winter schedule when the move is expected. Unlike global LCCs which operate point to point services, Indian LCCs sell tickets for connecting flights and Delhi is a major hub for Go Air, Spicejet as well as IndiGo making the partial shift a challenging one.
We are racing against time if the shift has to happen at the start of Winter schedule – starting 29th October.