T1 to upgrade: From February, fly to other metros from Delhi's T2

File photo of police personnel at Delhi airport
Fliers to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata from Delhi airport will have to go to Terminal-2 to board flights from the middle of next month.

GMR-led Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has asked IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir to shift operations from Terminal-1 (T1), out of which they currently operate. Reason: So that the expansion work of the terminal can begin. Airlines, especially low-cost carrier SpiceJet and GoAir, had been opposing the plan — in the works of sometime now — as they feel it would inconvenience travellers. They also claimed that asking them to shift would be preferential treatment to rival IndiGo, which had not been given such an instruction earlier.

On 19 January, DIAL Chief Executive Officer I Prabhakara Rao wrote to the heads of the three airlines that as there was no consensus between them over who would shift, all three would have to shift operations so that T1D could be decongested for expansion work.

“After careful consideration, it has been decided that flights operating to BOM (Mumbai), BLR (Bengaluru) and CCU (Kolkata) of all three airlines will be shifted to Terminal-2 from February 15 and accordingly, all resources will be allocated to T2,” Rao wrote. 

The letter has been addressed to IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh and GoAir CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.

The letter, reviewed by Business Standard, also mentions that the airlines were given an option to reduce flights in peak hours by 20 per cent and spread it to non-peak hours, which they did not agree to.

Multiple rounds of negotiations between the airport operator and the airlines failed. According to the original plan, the SpiceJet and GoAir were asked to shift to Terminal-2, leaving the entire Terminal 1D to IndiGo — the largest domestic airline by fleet size and market share. At present, low-cost domestic carriers IndiGo, Spicejet and GoAir operate from T1D, where as Vistara, AirAsia India and Air India operates from Terminal-3.

Airline officials, speaking off-record, said that such an arrangement was unprecedented and would lead to severe difficulties in operation and create confusion for the passengers.  

An IndiGo spokesperson said they supported the development plan but would not agree to splitting operations. “We will support of any effort to make things better without splitting our domestic operations in Delhi and creating inconvenience for our customers,” he said.

“The building (Terminal-2) is far from the main terminus. We have to give new directions to the passengers. There are costs of operations. Will the airport bear that cost?” said a GoAir official. 

“We don’t have any comments to make,” a DIAL spokesperson in response to a detailed query.

SpiceJet spokespersons were not available to comment. 

In his letter the DIAL CEO, however, mentioned it had invested Rs 100 crore to renovate T2 and it was ready to handle 12 million passengers a year. The number of passengers could be scaled up. “The renovated T2 is at par with T3 and T1 in respect of facilities and comfort to passengers,” he wrote.

According to the master plan of expansion, T1’s area would be increased to 133,000 sqm from 53,000 sqm, and it would be able to handle 23 million passengers. 

Ten aerobridges would be constructed and the number of boarding gates would be increased from eight to 25. Other low-cost domestic carriers would be shifted to Terminal 1 after the expansion.

DIAL also plans to construct Terminal 4, in the area where currently Terminal 2 is located. Terminal 4 would cater to full-service domestic carriers, such as Air India and Jet Airways.

Once T-4 is constructed, full-service domestic operations of Jet Airways and Air India and other such airlines will be shifted there and T-3 would only deal with international flights.


  • Delhi airport has asked IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir to shift flight operations to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata to Terminal 2

  • Upgrade of Terminal 1

  • Increase passenger capacity: From 20 million currently to 35 million
  • Reconfiguring and increase of aircraft parking stand: From 10 aerobridges to 86
  • Constructions: Metro link, with Phase 3 and Phase 4 of Delhi Metro 
  • A multi-level car parking

  • Airlines not willing to split domestic operations as it will lead to inconvenience for passenger

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