DALLAS — The upcoming G20 summit, which brings together leaders from the 20 most influential nations to engage in discussions on current economic and geopolitical matters, is scheduled to be held in New Delhi, the capital of India, in 2023.
This event is expected to cause disruptions in commercial aviation, resulting in the cancellation of over 150 flights in the country.
The aviation industry in India, currently the third-largest single civil aviation market, is anticipated to experience widespread operational disruptions, including flight delays and cancellations, particularly at Indira Gandhi Airport (DEL) in New Delhi. This is due to the airport serving as the designated arrival and parking facility for all the presidential aircraft during the G20 summit.
Multiple local media outlets report that the Government of India has issued instructions to airlines to reduce flight frequencies by 25% to create a less congested and safer environment for the arrival of world leaders. As a result, it is estimated that more than 1,000 flights will either be rescheduled or canceled.
Logistic Issues at New Delhi Airport
India is hosting the G20 summit for the first time, and preparations at DEL are currently in their final stages. The summit is scheduled to take place on September 9 and 10, in the near future.
Indira Gandhi Airport has attributed the rescheduling of flights to “traffic restrictions due to the G20 summit.” However, the airport is currently facing additional challenges, such as the grounding of numerous aircraft due to Pratt & Whitney engine issues. Currently, there are 20 IndiGo (6E) aircraft parked on the apron.
Furthermore, India is grappling with the suspension of operations by one of its major low-cost carriers, Go First (G8), which has been inactive since May 3. Nearly half of Go First’s fleet, consisting of 22 Airbus A320s out of a total of 54 units, remains grounded in New Delhi.
Only domestic flights are expected to experience delays and cancellations, with the current count reaching 80 departures and 80 arrivals at DEL.
Presidential Aircraft Arriving for the G20 Summit
Every year, the G20 summit changes its location worldwide, attracting a wide range of impressive presidential aircraft to the chosen airport. These arrivals often include supporting units and iconic airframes. In the previous year, the summit took place in Bali, Indonesia, while Brazil has been selected as the host country for the 2024 summit.
In 2023, New Delhi was chosen as the capital city to host the G20 summit, much to the excitement of aviation enthusiasts and planespotters. They will have the opportunity to witness the landing of notable airframes at the airport, including the Boeing 747-8BBJs of the Turkish, South Korean, and Chinese governments, as well as the renowned American “Air Force One”, a modified Boeing 747-200 that is 36 years old.
In addition to these aircraft, New Delhi will also welcome a diverse range of airframes, such as the Russian Government’s Ilyushin IL-96-300, the Australian VIP-configured Airbus A330MRTT, and the recently introduced German Air Force A350-900. The German Air Force’s A350-900 is a unique aircraft that stands out among the world leaders.
We invite you to share your best photographs of these extraordinary and rarely-seen airplanes during this event on our social media platforms. Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase these remarkable aircraft to aviation enthusiasts worldwide!
Featured image: Indira Gandhi International Airport