Delhi HC asks IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet and DIAL to resolve terminal dispute amicably

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Delhi High Court. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday gave one last opportunity to IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet, Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd (DIAL) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resolve amicably a dispute over the shifting of airline operations from Terminal-1 of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI Airport) to Terminal-2 from 15 February.

“We are here for greater public interest and convenience…the question is how much (inconvenience) can be mitigated. Sit across the table and create a plain, level field for all,” justice Hima Kohli said.

A bench comprising Kohli and justice Pratibha Rani was hearing IndiGo parent Interglobe Aviation Ltd’s appeal against the order by a single-judge bench upholding DIAL’s direction to IndiGo and Spicejet to ‘partially’ shift their operation from Terminal-1 to Terminal-2.

Before the single judge bench, DIAL had argued that the direction was a ‘temporary measure’ to renovate and expand the capacity of Terminal-1 as air traffic increase.

In order to support this claim, lawyer Anjana Gosain, appearing for DGCA, stated that in the period from 1 April to 31 December 2017, IndiGo, SpiceJet and Go Air catered to 12.17 million, 3.7 million and 3.2 million passengers, respectively.

DIAL submitted that for the period 2016-2017, the total volume of passengers from the airlines in question was 16.1 million, which is expected to grow by 10-20% in 2017-2018.

The bench directed DIAL and DGCA to produce a projection of ‘traffic’ that is expected during the remaining three months of the 2017-2018 cycle, i.e. January, February and March, at T-1.

Parag Tripathi, appearing for DIAL, argued that no airline had an entitlement over any terminal. As the airport operator, it is the prerogative of DIAL to decide on operations at IGI Airport, he said.

DIAL had, through a series of communications in September and October last year, directed IndiGo and Spice Jet to operate its flights, to and from Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru effective 4 January, 2018 from Terminal-2 of IGI Airport. GoAir was directed to shift its entire operations to Terminal-2. The deadline was extended to 15 February, by the order of the single judge bench.livemint