India has a great many world class International airports. However, Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi stands out as the country’s busiest and main international gateway, along with Mumbai Airport. It is a participating airport within India’s e-Tourist Visa program, where foreign nationals who secured an e-Tourist Visa online are processed on arrival.
Indira Gandhi International Airport has undergone impressive transformations since 2006, with the first phase of upgrades expected to be completed by 2021. In 2018, Airports Council International jointly awarded Indira Gandhi International Airport and Mumbai Airport the Best Airport in the World accolade in the 40 million+ passengers’ category.
The airport has 2 fully operational terminals: Terminal 1 only operates low-cost carriers and Terminal 3, which opened in 2010, operates all international flights and some domestic ones. The construction of Terminal 3 doubled the airport’s capacity and significantly transformed its functionality by melding international and domestic flights, with the exception of low-cost carriers, under one roof. Terminal 3 boasts 168 check-in counters, 130 immigration counters, 78 aerobridges, and 92 moving walkways, as well as a shopping mall, business centers, and restaurants. Among the 55 recently added new immigration counters, 10 cater to passengers with e-visas. Plans to introduce e-clearance immigration gates on a trial basis are underway for the future.
Future plans to improve the airport’s infrastructure involve expanding Terminal 1. To this end, relocation of the domestic low-cost carriers to the previously decommissioned, previously international Terminal 2 is in effect. Terminal 2 has as a consequence been refurbished, boasting 16 boarding gates, 18 self-check-in counters, 74 check-in counters, and six baggage claim belts.
Terminal 1’s departures and arrivals are to merge into a single terminal which will be expanded to handle 40 million passengers annually. Terminal 2 will then be demolished, and its operations will be shifted back to Terminal 1, to be replaced by a new Terminal 4.
Terminal 1 has a newly constructed Delhi Metro train station on the Magenta Line, functional with effect from the end of June 2018 once the Magenta Line became fully operational. Passengers can use the Magenta Line to access any of Delhi Airport’s terminals in conjunction with Terminal 1 Metro Station’s moving walkways efficiently running to and from terminals 2 and 3.
Indira Gandhi International Airport has a selection of lounges. One Premium Lounge caters to first class and business class passengers of certain airlines from level 3 of the international departures area in Terminal 3. Plaza Premium lounges are dotted throughout the terminals and the main lounge for international departures is on Level 4 of Terminal 3. Facilities in the lounges include wireless Internet, well-stocked buffets, bar, workstations, showers, spa, and massage and access to newspapers and magazines.
Exclusive and Premium Airport Lounges include the International Plaza Premium Airport Lounges for departures and arrivals, ITC WelcomGroup’s Green Lounge in Terminal 3 and the exclusive American Express Platinum Lounge in Terminal 3’s departures area.
Delhi duty-free is cited by travelers as among the best duty-free shops, offering a great selection of products at significantly good pricing, especially on liquor. Besides liquor, options include chocolates, perfumes, and cosmetics and brands like MANGO, Victoria Secret, and Gucci. Stores include pharmacies, a gadget shop, bookshops, and Indian souvenir shops.
Indira Gandhi International Airport certainly caters to all tastes with an array of dining options, including food courts, casual dining, coffee shops, and quick service restaurants and take away outlets. From a stimulating coffee to 4000 ways to customize a cup of chai, hot drinks are more than available. Eateries offer value for money with convenient and delicious food and beverages to go or eat in. International cuisine and fast foods, snacks and nibbles, Cafés and bakeries, pizzas or pies, smoking rooms, classic and cozy bars – Delhi Airport has them all.
To and from the airport, ride with App based taxis, Uber and Ola. Hired cabs and taxis are plentiful. Car rentals are on offer from most major international rental companies.
The Delhi Metro has transformed public transport in the city. The new superfast airport express connects the airport and central New Delhi.
State-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and private buses are a cheap transport option, running regular shuttle services that connect the airport and central Delhi. Interstate buses offer transportation further afield.
Inter-Terminal Shuttle Service transfers between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 every 20 minutes.
Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi is a world-class international airport ranking among the top airports in the world. Although construction and renovation are ongoing, the amenities offer comfort, and the facilities are exceptional. It is well planned and a tribute to the country. Travelers with the e-Visa will receive an excellent welcome to India when arriving here.