New Delhi, July 15 (ANI): An Air India flight from New York became the first commercial flight to dock at the new state-of-the-art terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday.
The Air India Boeing AI-102 was given a grand water spray welcome at Terminal-3 as it taxied its way to the airport.
Arvind Jadhav, Chairman of Air India, was overwhelmed by the momentous occasion, and said the biggest challenge now was to maintain the terminal's world class status.
"It's moment of pride and jubilation for us. The challenge one was there to construct and build a world-class terminal, that's been done now. Now, challenge two is to make sure we run it as a world-class terminal. And for that I think all the stakeholders and airline operators, the airport operators, the concessionaires, and the passengers, and the employees and all those who are connected with us have to give the world their best," he added.
The launch of T-3 provides Air India with an opportunity to be the first mover to develop a formidable primary hub, from which it will be able to connect India to the world.
Air India has partnered with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to provide an unmatched choice of destinations, serving a total of 22 international destinations.
With T-3 as its hub, the airline would launch new flights to Melbourne, Toronto and Chicago during the winter schedule, starting October.
With the new terminal in operation, Air India is expected to operate 143 international services per week, an increase of nearly 50 per cent.
The unique new terminal is spread over 5.4 million square feet.
It boasts of facilities like 78 aero-bridges, 168 check-in counters, 92 automatic travelators and five-level baggage screening system with a capacity to handle 12,800 bags per hour.
It is expected to handle 34 million passengers every year. (ANI)