Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport managed and operated by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), has emerged as the most preferred transit hub for domestic and international passengers. The direct connectivity of Delhi Airport with 142+ domestic and international destinations in six continents has made it the most preferred transit hub for Indians as well as passengers from neighbouring South Asian countries.
Post-COVID, Delhi Airport was able to consistently improve its traffic trends. In FY’2023, Delhi Airport handled around 65.33 million passengers, 49 per cent more than the country’s second-largest airport. During the same period, Delhi Airport served 15.65 mn international passengers which is 27.5% of total India’s international traffic, the highest among all Indian airports. (Source: AAI)
In the past 11 months of FY 2023 (between April 2022 and February 2023), Delhi Airport handled over 14.50 million transfer passengers (hub traffic) of which around 8.56 million were domestic to domestic transfer passengers. About 2.88 million were domestic to International, 2.73 million international to domestic, and over 3.37 lakh were international to international transfer passengers.
Owing to its strategic geographical location and sheer size of the passenger share among all Indian airports, Delhi Airport has become the most preferred airport for international airlines planning to begin operations in India. Nearly 70% of Indian airports fall under Delhi’s catchment area, which is a good mix of industrial and tourist destinations and can be reached by air within 60-90 minutes. Delhi Airport is a dominant airport in the North and North-East region. It also provides seamless connectivity between Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the rest of the world.
To accommodate the increasing number of international transfer passengers, Delhi Airport is undergoing Phase 3A Expansion work that encompasses various large-scale development and modernization activities to make Delhi Airport future-ready. Post completion of Phase 3A Expansion work scheduled in 2023, Delhi Airport will become the only Indian airport whose terminals would be able to handle 100 million passengers per annum (MPPA).
The airport’s newly expanded International to International (I-to-I) transfer area at Terminal 3 Arrivals is operational and ready to offer a distinctive experience to international flyers by making their connecting journey pleasant and hassle-free. The extended state-of-the-art I-to-I transfer area with additional facilities was part of the ongoing expansion of Delhi Airport under phase 3A. The new area spans approximately 3,000 square metres, which is double in size of the previous I-to-I transfer area.
There are seven (7) Food and Beverage (F&B) and retail counters, 10 check-in counters, 15 frisking booths and eight (8) X-ray machines in the expanded transfer area for the convenience of passengers. Earlier, there was only one F&B and retail counter, 06 check-in counters, 11 frisking booths and 04 X-Ray machines. The F&B and retail counters give passengers an option to shop, eat, and relax if they have enough time before their flight. Similarly, more frisking booths, check-in counters and X-Ray machines make the international transfer process faster and smoother.
Connectivity from Delhi Airport is well spread across Continents including America, Europe, Australia, & Asia. Supported by 63 trusted airlines, Delhi Airport provides direct connectivity to places like New York, San Francisco, Newark, Chicago, and Washington in North America in the shortest and ensures a smooth journey to almost all continents. The airport also offers non-stop international passenger flights out of Delhi. It offers a chance to passengers to plan a visit to their much-awaited getaways like Amsterdam, Rome, Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, Vienna, and Copenhagen in Europe.
Buoyed by the strong recovery of domestic and international traffic, the Government of India plans to establish the country’s first international aviation hub in Delhi.
The government has asked Delhi Airport and some of the major airlines to examine the global best practices on scheduling to ensure that international and domestic operations complement each other and provide enhanced connectivity from Delhi Airport, essential for setting up India’s first international aviation hub.