Delhi’s IGI was busier than Dubai airport in November | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The pandemic has flipped the pecking order of world airports. This month, Delhi’s IGI Airport was busier than Dubai International Airport in terms of combined domestic and international seat capacity deployed by airlines.
At close to 30.9 lakh, IGIA is the seventh busiest airport globally this month, ahead of Dubai at a little over 30.7 lakh, according to UK-based air consultancy firm OAG. In pre-pandemic November 2019, Dubai was at number 3 and IGIA at number 10.

While Dubai remains the world’s busiest international airport by seats, IGIA does not figure in the list of top 10 international airports due to continued restrictions on scheduled foreign flights by India. The revival of domestic air travel in India has led to a revival of footfall at airports, making IGIA overtake Dubai in overall seat capacity.
In pre-pandemic times, nearly 60% of the international traffic between India and the rest of the world flew foreign airlines. Of them, Gulf carriers took the lion’s share in terms of both point to point and connecting traffic. “If India is able to take steps to lower the steep operating cost structures for its airlines and the latter are able to mount more nonstops to the rest of the world, including distant continents, then the blow to airlines of nearby hubs will be big. Transit traffic to and from India is a big source of filling the planes of these airlines,” said an airline official.
Thanks to traffic recovery, India’s busiest and second busiest airport, Delhi’s IGI and Mumbai airport, respectively, are now using all their terminals. Meanwhile, the 10 busiest airports overall this month, according to OAG, are Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, Dallas Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare, Guangzhou, Denver, Los Angeles International, Delhi IGIA, Dubai DXB, Tokyo Haneda and Shenzhen. The 10 busiest airports by international seat capacity alone this month are Dubai DXB, London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Doha, Madrid Adolfo Suarez-Barajas, New York JFK and Dublin.
“Only half of the current Top 10 airports were in the Top 10 in November 2019. Still missing are Singapore (23), Hong Kong (27), Incheon (45) and Bangkok (63) as recovery in Asia continues to falter,” says OAG.

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