Delhi's second airport: Hindon is ready!

Delhi now has a second airport operational. Hindon Airforce base now converted to accept civilian flights will be open from 11th October.

Where is Hindon Airport?
Hindon Airport is some 30-35 kms north east of current IGI airport in Delhi. Hindon will be closer to people staying in Gaziabad, UP, Noida etc
How to reach Delhi's new Hindon Airport?
Google maps is not yet updated with public transport details to Hindon Airport. However, input Shalimar Garden (a landmark adjacent to new Hindon airport) and you will get metro/bus details to reach there. From city centre say Karol Bagh, map says one can reach Hindon airport area in about an hour's time, which is the same time it takes to reach IGI. If you are east of Karol Bagh then new airport will be closer to you.


So who is flying to Hindon Airport?
Considering airport just opened, we need to wait for sometime before commercial flights begin to operate from here.

Recently started Star Air has announced flights to Hindon from Hubli from November 6 2019, ticket fares starting from INR 3700. This will be convenient for people of Hubballi and central Karnataka who otherwise had to take one stop flight via Bengaluru or Mumbai to reach national capital.
What about other airlines?
We don't know yet. Most airline websites and OTAs haven't even added Hindon to their database yet. (Airport code seems to be VDX, searched with Hindon, Delhi, VDX etc on MMT but got blank). Hopefully they will add asap.
Ideally a cheaper airport nearby will be tempting proposition to budget airlines. Airlines like AirAsia should have jumped at the opportunity. But following is the situation w.r.t Delhi's current IGI airport as of now, which isn't very encouraging to Hindon\:
1) Delhi's IGI Airport isn't operating at max capacity yet. As per Wikipedia during first half of 2019, passenger count fell 7.4%. With Jet Airways gone, 737Max grounded and more cancellations due to Pak airspace closure, I guess there's still some time before IGI maxes out in terms of flights it can support. So airlines aren't in any immediate pressure to find a secondary airport.
2) Even budget airlines like AirAsia were operating out of T3, a relatively expensive terminal and not T1 or T2. I guess airline has got good deal with airport. So existing airlines may not shift immediately to new airport.  I am sure they will use Hindon as bargaining chip during next round of contract renewals/negotiations with airport and may shift a few flights over time to Hindon.
3) Connectivity will be a problem. With Delhi being a hub airport, most airlines sell one stop ticket to different destinations via Delhi. If only few flights are shifted to Hindon, airlines will NOT be able to offer connecting flight and this might impact operations. Need to see how airlines will manage this. Star air is a new airline-they don't have this problem.
4) Public transport, connectivity and facilities: With T3 being well connected, well equipped and winning thumbs up from passengers, there will be some hesitation to shift to a small airport with less facilities. Not much is known yet about Hindon airport- like are there lounges and comfortable seating and food outlets and other facilities? Does it match stature of a capital city's airport or feels like a Tier 3 city airport? We will have to wait for some feedback from early passengers.

Dubai is facing similar dilemma. Authorities want to shift to larger DWC (Dubai Al Maktoum) but everything is so set n used to at DXB, airlines and passengers are not at all keen to move to a far away new airport, even if it is bigger.

Hindon can be to Delhi IGI what Gatwick is to London Heathrow. While Delhi's second airport has full potential, it will take some time to gain acceptance from both airlines and passengers. I am sure airlines will slowly start experimenting- Like Indigo has 12 non-flights daily right now between Delhi and Chennai, so may be 13th flight they will introduce to Hindon and experiment. If passengers book in good numbers, it will encourage airlines to add more flights to Hindon instead of DEL

What do you think of Hindon airport? 
Would you fly to Hindon instead of IGI if ticket is say Rs 500 cheaper? Is it closer to your home? Would you prefer Hindon if it gets decent public transportation and other facilities? Are you OK to change airports in Delhi to reach your final destination? (arrive in Hindon, take bus to IGI, fly out of IGI etc). Let us know via comments.

2 comments:

  1. That should make it good for people heading to Noida. Cuts down the traffic woes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Let us see how this new airport fares over time.

      Delete

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