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Govt asked Airlines to Fly Fewer Flights During G20 Summit

More than a thousand commercial flights could either be rescheduled or cancelled as the government has instructed airlines to curtail frequency by a fourth throughout the G20 summit next month due to parking constraints at Delhi airport. Simultaneously, airlines have also been asked to reposition some of their aircraft, which are parked at Delhi, to other airports. The Summit will be held from September 9. Airline executives have warned of nationwide network repercussions, leading to flight cancellations as Delhi is India’s primary airport. Amid crowded hotels and road closures announced by Delhi police, travel agents have advised travellers to cancel plans for those specific days. Heads of state of nearly 30 countries and top international organisations will participate in the G20 summit being held in Delhi on September 9 & 10.

More than 50 special aircraft will fly into Delhi for the summit, carrying the likes of US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. Delhi, which is India’s largest airport, has around 220 parking stands, but all are utilised due to the surge in air traffic. The situation is worsening due to 50 aircraft that are grounded at the airport due to issues with engines and the bankruptcy of Go First. Sources said that the ministry of civil aviation told airline heads that Delhi airport has been unable to create adequate parking positions for the special aircraft, which will carry heads of state and officials of the participating nations.

Flights will have to be reduced from 12 pm to 12 am on September 8 and from 6 pm on September 10 until 12 pm the next day, as most of the delegates will fly in and out during these hours. A government official, on condition of anonymity, said that the decision was taken after a series of meetings with airlines and Delhi Airport. While it was proposed that aircraft could drop off the delegates and fly to neighbouring airports like Lucknow and Jaipur, the security teams of participating countries didn’t accept the idea, as leaders may be required to fly back at short notice in case of an emergency. (Source The ET)

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