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Part Shifting From T-1 To T-2: HC Reserves Order As Airlines, Authorities Fail To Reach Settlement

Akanksha Jain
24 Jan 2018 4:03 PM GMT
Part Shifting From T-1 To T-2: HC Reserves Order As Airlines, Authorities Fail To Reach Settlement
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The Delhi High Court was on Wednesday informed that no settlement could be arrived at between the airlines – IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir – and the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation and DIAL on the issue of part shifting of operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Rekha Palli was informed that no settlement could be arrived at on the issue even as the court had last week, by way of one last opportunity, asked all parties concerned to resolve the matter amicably.

The issue concerns various directions/ communications from DIAL between September and October, 2017, directing IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir to operate their flights, to and fro Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru from Terminal-2 of IGI w.e.f. January 4, 2018.

A single judge had on December 20 declined them any relief holding DIAL's decision to be in larger public interest.

IndiGo had then moved an appeal which is being heard by this bench.

On Wednesday, while GoAir said it has already moved to T-2 and SpiceJet submitted that it was ready to shift to T-2 but only if the move is uniform for all airlines, IndiGo has been pressing against DIAL's orders of part shifting.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Interglobe Aviation (IndiGo) submitted that there could not be any settlement which could have arrived between the parties.

At this, the court asked parties to advance their arguments on merits of the case.

Go Airways represented by senior advocates Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Darpan Wadhva and advocate Rajshekhar Rao, briefed by Meghna Mishra, partner, and Ankit Rajgarhia, senior associate from Karanjawala & Co, submitted that there is no specific prayer which has been prayed against GoAir and volunteered to shift their entire operation to Terminal 2 since it is miniscule in number and dividing its sectors between two terminals would have impacted the entire infrastructure of GoAir.

Neeraj Kishan Kaul also submitted that these are policy decisions which cannot be interfered with by the court.

IndiGo further argued that DIAL's decision of part shifting would divide Indigo between three terminals namely T1, 2 and 3.

He submitted that Terminal 1 has a capacity of 20 mppa (million passengers per annum), which will be reduced to 17 mppa in redevelopment stage and therefore, could have easily accommodated IndiGo's entire operation.

DIAL, on its part, submitted that it being an administrative decision, the court cannot do much about it.

Senior advocate Dhruv Mehta, appearing on behalf of SpiceJet submitted that it was ready to abide by the decision of DIAL as long as it is uniform and showed its willingness to shift, keeping larger public interest in mind.

The bench has now reserved its order on the appeal.

It is to be noted that the single judge had on December 20 last year dismissed IndiGo's challenge to DIAL's decision while upholding DIAL's claim that the shift was necessary because of the traffic load and pressure on infrastructure at Terminal 1.

An affidavit submitted by the DGCA, showed the revenue passenger statistics for GoAir at 3.2 million, IndiGo 12.17 million and SpiceJet 3.7 million.

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