Delhi airport flooded, passengers wade through knee deep water

New Delhi: Incessant heavy rains today led to water-logging at the Indira Gandhi Airport (IGI) airport in New Delhi, causing inconvenience to passengers who waded through knee deep water while the baggage handling system was left crippled.

The monsoon arrived in Delhi today a fortnight ahead of schedule, with the national capital recording around 36.6 mm rainfall. But the airport witnessed an “unprecedented” rainfall of 117.8 mm in four and half hours, between 1 PM and 5.30 PM.

The airport experienced 62.8 mm of rains between 1 PM and 2.30 PM and 55 mm between 2.30 PM and 5.30 PM.

The amount of rain water, combined with poor drainage in the surrounding area and topography of airport led to back flow of water towards the Terminal 3 of the airport.

“Incessant rains, poor drainage system in surrounding area and comparative low elevation of the airport led to back flow of water, which led to flooding at terminal area,” an airport official said.

Services at the domestic arrivals were the most affected due to flooding which forced the airport authorities to close the functioning of four baggage belts, causing inconvenience to passengers.

According to sources, there was knee deep water near the exit of Airport Express Metro and passengers had to wade through it to reach the terminal.

Earlier, the airport had witnessed similar incident of flooding in September 2011, when airport area received 115.6 mm of rains in just 75 minutes, between 2.30 PM and 3.45 PM.

As the water entered the terminal building, the airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) pressed emergency workers into action to drain the water out of the terminal.

“The rain water had entered in international and domestic arrival halls. The waterlogging affected normal passengers movement,” a source said

“There was heavy waterlogging between 2-5 PM inside the arrival halls of the airport,” the source said.

The situation was brought under control only late in the evening.

Sources said that DIAL had written to civic agencies like PWD and municipal body for providing adequate drainage in the surrounding areas but the work started late and airport had to face such a situation.

Source: NDTV

No talk of shutdown: Kingfisher

MUMBAI: Trying to scotch speculation of a shutdown, cash-strapped Kingfisher on Sunday said it was in talks with tax authorities to get the accounts of the airlines un-frozen and asked its pilots, skipping flying duties, to fall in line.

But pilots protesting delay in payment of salaries claimed that Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwalhad warned them during a meeting on Thursday that the extreme step could be resorted to, indicating the airlines’ closure, if they don’t resume duties.

“Sanjay Aggarwal met with a group of pilots to appeal to them not to stay away from flying duties which would potentially affect the operating schedule. At no time was there any suggestion that Kingfisher Airlines would shut down,” a statement by Prakash Mirpuri, vice-president, corporate communications of the airlines, said.

“We are trying our very best to cooperate with the tax authorities and get our accounts un-frozen at the earliest so that normalcy could be restored, employee salaries paid and further aircraft recoveries started,” he said.

A different version of the meeting was given by the pilots.

“If you want to fly, you fly and if you dont want to fly, you are free to do so. Otherwise, we will have to think of the extreme option (of completely closing),” the pilots quoted Aggarwal as having told them.

Aggarwal also told the delegation he cannot commit anything before March 10, a pilot, who was part of the delegation, said.

The development comes on the heels of the service tax department freezing as many as 40 bank accounts of Kingfisher Airlines for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs 40 crore.

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh has indicated that flight license could be temporarily suspended, instead of being cancelled, to give the airline a chance to resume operations once it sorts out its problems.

The aviation regulater DGCA has already warned Kingfisher that its financial problems should not impinge on safety.


Airlines have levied the Airport Development Fee on all flights departing from Delhi

Dear The Tour Planners Customer,

As per the circular received from IGI Airport, New Delhi, airlines have levied the following tax (Airport Development Fee) on all flights departing from Delhi for travel effective 01 December 2011 regardless of the date of issuance. This tax is inclusive of 10.3% service tax.

Any passenger who has booked a ticket on or before 18th November to travel on or after 1st December needs to pay the below mentioned tax amount at the airport. For tickets booked on or after 19th November the above mentioned tax is already included in your total ticket cost.

Domestic Passengers :- INR 221 (Per Person).
International Passengers :- INR 1434 (Per Person).

The Tour Planners

Kingfisher airlines to exit low cost aviation business: Vijay Mallya

Bangalore: Kingfisher Airlines on Wednesday said that it will quit its low cost aviation business, Kingfisher Red. Vijay Mallya, Chairman, Kingfisher Airlines said that the segment was too competitive and there are enough passengers for a full service operation.

“Kingfisher Airlines is working with a consortium of banks to further reduce interest costs and raise working capital as the carrier looks to restructure its fleet by selling and leasing back some of its aircraft to lower debt,” Mallya said.

The cash strapped airline has never reported profits since its launch in 2006. In the last quarter, the airline had reported losses of Rs. 263.54 crore against losses of Rs. 187 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, Mallaya also outlined plans to reduce debt and raise capital. The company has huge debt levels, which currently stands at Rs. 6,000 crore. He said the airline was working with a consortium of banks to further reduce interest costs and raise working capital.

The airline’s auditors had said in the company’s annual report for the fiscal year that ended March 31, that it needs capital infusion to remain viable. The auditors B.K. Ramadhyani & Co also noted, that the airline’s financial statements had “been prepared on a going concern basis, notwithstanding the fact that its net worth is completely eroded.”

The airline also plans to convert part of its rupee loans into low-cost forex loans based on existing cash flows, he said. Kingfisher had planned to raise $250-$350 million through an issue of global depositary receipts in January, but no deal has been forthcoming.

Source: Yahoo! India Finance with Agencies

Delhi, Hyd airports get top rankings of a global body

New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) The airports of Delhi and Hyderabad have been ranked among the top airports of the world in the airport services quality (ASQ) by the global body, Airports Council International (ACI).

While Hyderabad”s Rajiv Gandhi Airport retained the number one position for the second year in a row among 49 airports handling 5-15 million passengers per annum (mppa), Indira Gandhi International Airport came fourth in a group of 19 airports in the 25-40 mppa category.

Mumbai”s CST International Airport, run by GVK-led consortium, ranked in the 15-25 mppa category, the ACI said.

While the Indian airports ranked among the top in different categories, the ACI declared Incheon in Seoul, Changi in Singapore, airports in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai Pudong as the overall top ”best airports worldwide”.

The rankings were done on the basis of a global ASQ survey by the ACI of 153 airports, including 6 Indian ones.

The survey, which gets a representative sample of flights, destinations and passenger groups served by the airport, is intended to get feedback from users on a range of service delivery parameters. ACI audits the process to ensure compliance and validates the results.

The awards will be formally presented in April at the ACI”s Asia-Pacific Regional Conference to be held here.

This was announced by P S Nair, who has been promoted as CEO (Corporate Airport Sector) of the GMR Group which leads the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) consortium. Till last month, he was the DIAL CEO.

In DIAL, Nair was replaced by I P Rao while the Hyderabad airport, also run by GMR-led joint venture, now has Vikram Jaisinghani as its CEO.

Nair said the Hyderabad airport has improved on its ASQ rating which now stands at 4.51 and retained the top slot in its category consecutively for the second year.

On the IGI airport, he said the ASQ ratings improved “immensely” after the plush new Terminal-3 became operational last year.

To questions, he said a few areas on which the Delhi airport was lacking included value for money, inadequate shopping facilities and the ease of reaching the airport. “We are looking to improve these areas,” Nair said.

ACI Director General Angela Gittens said airports in the Asia Pacific “made clean sweep” in the category of ”best airports worldwide” as they did last year.