New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday upheld its order which dismissed airline IndiGo’s plea against DIAL’s decision to shift a part of its operations from Terminal 1 to the newly opened Terminal 2 of the IGI here.
IndiGo, India’s biggest airline by market share, had approached the court challenging a Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) decision related to shifting a part of the airline’s operations to a new terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
However, a bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Rekha Palli granted a last opportunity of one week to IndiGo and SpiceJet to approach DIAL to suggest other sectors that they would be ready and willing to shift from T-1 to T-2, as long as they collectively meet the yardstick of one-third passenger traffic volumes of their operations at T-1.
“In the event such a request is received by the DIAL within the stipulated timeline, the same shall be considered and a decision taken under written intimation to both the airlines within one week from the date of receipt,” the court said.
“If no such request is received within the stipulated timeline, then the DIAL shall fix a deadline for shifting one-third of the flight operations of the concerned airlines from T-1 to T-2, under written intimation to them.”
On December 20 last year, a single judge bench had rejected Indigo’s plea.
“We are of the opinion that there is no illegality, arbitrariness or infirmity in the impugned judgment (December 20 order) that warrants interference. Moreover, the learned Single Judge has gone to the extent of watering down the option given by the DIAL to the Indigo and the SpiceJet by directing that in the event they make a request to shift one third of their operations by excluding the three identified sectors, i.e., Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, they may do so within one week from the date of the judgment,”the division bench said.
DIAL, which operates the airport here, had asked three airlines operating from T-1 to shift a third of their flights to T-2 to enable it to expand the terminal to meet growing passenger traffic.
Defending its decision, DIAL had said T-1 had exceeded its capacity and if airline operations were not shifted partially, it would lead to overcrowding.
DIAL had said the safety and security of passengers was its primary responsibility and in case of fire or a terror threat, an overcrowded airport would lead to serious consequences for which it alone would be answerable, not the airlines.
IndiGo contended that shifting partially from T-1 to T-2 would result in confusion and cause inconvenience to passengers. By this decision, IndiGo will be spread across three terminals as it operates international flights from Terminal 3 (T-3).
Seeking quashing of DIAL’s decision, IndiGo said the decision would strain its operations and proposed an alternative solution of giving the entire T1 exclusively to it and shifting the other two carriers to T-2.
The DIAL had directed IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir to relocate their operations in “parts” and split their operations by shifting flights to and from some sectors, namely Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, to T-2.
It also said that the capacity of the three airlines to and from the three sectors would amount to around eight million persons per annum and shifting those to T-2 would considerably reduce the burden on T-1.