Aviation Top Stories

Delhi’s IGI emerges as world’s fifth busiest airport due to revival of domestic travel

According to a TOI report,the Indira Gandhi International Airport has emerged as the world’s fifth busiest airport this month, thanks to the revival of domestic air travel, and despite postponement of regular international flights due to Omicron.

The same reasons have made IndiGo — which flies six in every 10 domestic passengers — the eighth biggest airline in terms of seat deployment in December. And despite limited capacity and steep fares under the bubble system, India-UAE is currently the world’s fourth busiest country pair for international travel, according to UK-based air consultancy firm OAG.

In terms of seat deployment by airlines this month, only four airports are ahead of IGI (33.5 lakh) — Atlanta (44 lakh), Dubai (35.4 lakh), Dallas Forth Worth (35.3 lakh) and Guangzhou (35.1 lakh). Hubs, such as London Heathrow, New York JFK, Paris CDG, Tokyo Haneda and Chicago O’Hare, are lower down this list of OAG. “Eight of the top 20 airports are in the US, reflecting the strength of the US domestic market,” OAG said.

Omicron has forced a postponement of the resumption of scheduled international flights, which was supposed to happen from December 15.

“Although data is awaited, so far what has been globally observed about Omicron is that it is not leading to major health scares. Hopefully, once that is established and is backed by data, regular international flights can restart with all required pandemic precautions a and the aviation industry can come back from the brink of collapse,” said an airline official.

OAG data shows IndiGo is the world’s eighth biggest airline this month, scheduled to operate nearly 50,000 flights.

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