New Delhi: About 160 domestic flights are likely to be cancelled at Delhi airport for three days next month, with airlines having been instructed to cut down on aircraft parking to make space for planes connected to the G20 summit to be held on 9 and 10 September.
This comes in the wake of reports in the media that the airport is struggling to provide parking space for the aircraft. There are about 220 parking stands at Delhi airport, all of which are being used because of the increase in air traffic.
50 special aircraft to arrive at Delhi airport
Representatives of about 30 countries, including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, will participate in the G20 summit for which more than 50 special aircraft will arrive at Delhi airport.
However, the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), which operates the airport, stressed that the Indira Gandhi International Airport is fully equipped with ample parking space for aircraft during the summit period and assured people of a smooth travel experience for all. It said that it has received requests from airlines for the cancellation of 80 departing and as many as arriving domestic flights during three days from September 8 in connection with the global summit, which is going to be held under India’s presidency. This is merely 6 per cent of normal domestic operations.
“While we recognise that approximately 80 arrivals and 80 departures may be affected because of these cancellations, we are committed to working closely with airlines to minimise inconvenience to passengers,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
Airlines have said that instead of parking their planes at Delhi airport, they can park them at other airports. The aviation ministry has said that airlines can park their planes at nearby airports such as Lucknow and Jaipur.
The Delhi Police has, meanwhile, been advised to keep many roads closed.
Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena has declared a public holiday for three days, during which even buses and other vehicles will not be allowed on the roads from midnight on September 8. Only Delhi Metro services will be available for the public during the period.