Mumbai: Budget airlines refuse to shift to T2 terminal
Mumbai International Airport's plan to shift local airlines to its new terminal T2 is stuck in confusion and conflict.
Senior executives at IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir told ET that none of them will move to T2 as it will be insufficient to cater to growing traffic.
Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) currently has two departure terminals, T1A and T1B, and one arrival terminal apart from T2. Air India and GoAir, which used to operate from T1A, have shifted to T2 and T1B respectively, leaving T1A empty.
MIAL has told airlines that it isn't cost effective to continue with both terminals.
But airlines have opposed MIAL's plans to stop operating the older terminals, saying T2 will exhaust its passenger handling capacity in about 15 months.
“If you talk about departures, which are the major concern, T1B currently handles 17 million passengers annually and T2 handles 18 million while its total capa city is 40 million.
But with domestic passenger growth at 12% and international at 9%, the total annual air passenger traffic in Mumbai will grow to 42 million in FY16, 47 million in FY17, 52 million in FY18, 58 million in FY19 and 64 million in FY20. That is when the new airport in Navi Mumbai is scheduled to be operational,“ said an airline executive who requested not to be named.
“With just one terminal operating, how will passengers be handled?“ Sydney-based CAPA, or Centre for Asia Pacific Avia ion, estimates that the Mumbai airport with just T2 operational will saturate by the end of FY18.
MIAL started operating T2 on February 12, 2014 with foreign airlines. It had then said India's local airlines would shift to it by 2015. Vistara, which was launched last year, started operating from the new terminal.
Air India shifted its domestic operations in October and Jet Airways on Tuesday said it will shift on March 15.
IndiGo has so far been the most aggressive to oppose to MIAL's plan. The airline had at first said it should be allowed to operate out of the older terminals on its own. Later it tweaked its demand to say it was willing to share he terminal with one more ow cost airline.
“MIAL's stance in this is hat IndiGo will have to shift. It is, however, still uncertain about SpiceJet and Go Air,“ said a person close o the development. An email sent to MIAL didn't yield a response as of press time Tuesday.
GVK-controlled MIAL has spent Rs 12,500 crore on modernising the Mumbai airport, the largest chunk of which has gone into building the 4.4 million square feet T2 terminal.
The terminal, built at a cost Rs 5,500 crore, is crucial for the airport that has been plagued by problems of congestion and slow operations.
The Mumbai airport is spread over 1,400 acres while Delhi airport is spread over 5,000 acres.