In an effort to accommodate the impending G20 summit scheduled for September 9 and 10 in Delhi, the Indian government has directed airlines to make significant adjustments to their flight schedules.
This move is expected to impact over a thousand commercial flights, necessitating either rescheduling or cancellation. The directive comes as a response to parking constraints at Delhi’s primary airport, leading to concerns about logistics and security for the high-profile event.
The G20 summit will be held in Delhi on September 9 and 10 and will be attended by heads of state of nearly 30 countries.
More than 50 special aircraft will fly into Delhi for the summit, carrying the likes of US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.
Flight Frequency Curtailed by a Fourth
Government instructions require airlines to reduce their flight frequency by a quarter during the G20 summit, a move aimed at addressing parking limitations at Delhi airport.
With over 220 parking stands at the airport already fully occupied due to the surge in air traffic, accommodating the influx of special aircraft for the summit has proven to be a challenge.
Aircraft Repositioning and Nationwide Network Repercussions
Additionally, airlines have been asked to reposition some of their aircraft, currently parked in Delhi, to alternative airports. This action aims to free up parking space and alleviate the congestion caused by grounded aircraft, a significant number of which are at the airport due to technical issues and the financial troubles of Go First.
Airline executives have sounded the alarm about potential widespread disruptions to the aviation network across the country, with the primary hub in Delhi being affected. The increased likelihood of flight cancellations is causing concern among passengers and industry insiders alike.
Traveler Advisories and Hotel Bookings
Amid the anticipated chaos of the G20 summit, travellers have been advised by travel agents to reconsider their plans for the specific summit days. Crowded hotels and announced road closures by Delhi police have further contributed to the travel advisory.
Top luxury hotels in Delhi, including the Taj Mahal, the Leela Palace, and the ITC Maurya, are already fully booked to host the dignitaries attending the summit. Meanwhile, hotels in Gurgaon and other parts of Delhi are witnessing increased demand for accommodations for staff members associated with the event.
The average hotel rate has increased by 200% for Delhi during September 7–11, according to data shared by RateGain.
The G20 summit is expected to cause major disruptions to air traffic and hotel bookings in Delhi. Travellers are advised to reschedule their plans for the summit dates, and airlines are advised to prepare for flight cancellations.