Officials trade charges on flight delays at Delhi

March 4th, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Air passengers continue to face delays at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here even as Air India officials and airport developers blamed each other for the national carrier not operating its overseas flights on time. “It is not true that only Air India’s international flights are being delayed. A few other international flights are also being delayed,” D.S Koli, regional executive director of Air India, told IANS.

The carrier blamed GMR-led Delhi International Airports Ltd (DIAL) - the developers of the airport here - for the delay of its international flights.

DIAL has contested the claim. DIAL spokesperson Arun Arora told IANS Tuesday that if it (DIAL) was at fault, how come other international flights were managing to fly in time.

“Why is Air India alone being delayed?” asked Arora.

This, Arora said, clearly established that the problem was within the airline and not with DIAL. He said Air India flights were delayed due to its operational and ground problems.

“Air India officials are only trying to wash off their hands by shifting the blame on us,” said Arora.

According to DIAL, over 80 international flights take off from the international airport every day. Of this, Air India operates 20 flights.

The DIAL official said short flight delays are unavoidable.

“Delhi airport cannot remain immune to such delays. Flight delays of short duration are common at airports during renovation and expansion of infrastructure.”

“We are already overloaded with passengers. As of now, we have a capacity to handle only 13 million passengers, while we expect around 24 million passengers at the airport this year.”

Air India’s Koli, however, said that renovation and infrastructure expansion at IGI airport are leading to delays.

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