The air passengers will have a tough time for a week between January 18 and January 26 with over 840 flights set to be affected due to Republic Day preparations. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has proposed a seven-day closure this year.
Nearly 800 flights to and from Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi will be cancelled or rescheduled in the run-up to Republic Day parade as airspace over Delhi will remain closed for about one and a half hours every day between 10:45 am 12:15 pm for over a week.
According to an airline source, over 268 domestic and 134 international arrivals, and 316 domestic and 76 international departures are going to be hit due to increased traffic and capacity constraints. During the same period last year, 1,000 flights during the seven-day duration were impacted.
A notice will also be issued to disallow any non-scheduled or chartered flight in and out of IGIA during this period due to security considerations of the Republic Day.
As the IGI airport is quite clogged with any free slot, attempts still will be made to accommodate the affected flights either before or after the closure period but very few may actually get rescheduled.
The Times of Indiaquoted an airport operator as saying, “The airlines have been advised to adjust their respective schedules during this period to minimise the impact on passengers. The Delhi air traffic control (ATC), in co-ordination with Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL), will meet the airlines in the second week of January to finalise the schedule during the closure period.
The airspace over Delhi remains closed for commercial flights due to on-going rehearsals in the run-up to the Republic Day on January 26.
With inputs from The Times of India (TOI)