Flights to and from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport will be affected for seven days till January 26 as the airspace will remain closed for over 1.5 hours every day on account of Republic Day rehearsals.
Flight movement at Delhi airport will remain restricted from 10:35 AM to 12:15 PM from 18th January to 26th January.
The shutdown, which is proposed by Indian Air Force (IAF) every year ahead of Republic Day, is likely to hit nearly 800-900 flights during the time period. Last year, around 1,000 flight movements were hit due to the closure of airspace.
The final tally of affected flight operations will also depend on the weather conditions as Delhi witnesses heavy fog during the month of January.
All airlines are aware of the closure. The airport will try to accommodate as many rescheduled flights as possible but given the slot constraints at Delhi airport, a considerable number of flights may eventually get cancelled
Delhi airport is the busiest aviation hub in the country, in terms of passenger traffic as well as cargo traffic. The airport has three terminals, one for domestic and other two for both international and domestic operations.
The airport handles over 1,200 flights a day and handled 65.7 million passengers in 2018. This figure can cross the mark of 80 million by 2019-20, a report by centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said.