After the inauguration of first phase of Chennai Airport New Integrated Terminal Building, Airports Authority of India started the demolishing work of Terminal 3. In October end, AAI said that it will reactivate services at Terminal 4 from October 29. But it missed the deadline. Now, the terminal has been opened and 4 domestic airlines are operating from there. Here are the full details.
Chennai Airport Terminal 4 Reactivated
On November 14, Air India Airbus A321neo landed at Chennai Airport and deboarded passengers at Terminal 4. This was a trial flight to check if Terminal 4 is compatible of handling flights or not. The trials went successful.
On the very next day, 2 airlines – Air India and Alliance Air shifted their domestic operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 4 of Chennai Airport. Terminal 4 is capable of handling only domestic flights. For international flights, airlines use the Terminal 2. First revenue service of Air India coming in from Port Blair Veer Savarkar International Airport AI550 landed at Terminal 4 of Chennai Airport on November 15th. The aircraft had 148 passengers onboard. Airport Director CV Deepak himself handed over boarding pass to first passenger of the Air India flight.
Air India connects Chennai Airport to Port Blair, Mumbai, Madurai, Kolkata, Delhi, Coimbatore and Bengaluru. Alliance Air connects to Hyderabad with 13X weekly flights.
Air India Express & Vistara joins
Soon after the restart of Terminal 4 operations, Low Cost Arm of TATA Group, Air India Express also announced its plans to shift all domestic operations to Chennai Airport Terminal 4. From December 23rd, Air India Express shifted operations. On December 25th, Vistara announced its operational shift to the renovated domestic terminal. Vistara shifted domestic operations on December 27th.
Talking about services, Air India Express connects Chennai to Trivandrum with twice weekly flights. Its sister airline, AIX Connect connects Chennai to Bengaluru with twice daily flights, Guwahati and Hyderabad with daily flights. Vistara connects Chennai Airport 4X daily to each – Delhi and Mumbai.
With operations now shifted to Terminal 4, the Airports Authority of India is able to use the ground floor arrival terminal. It was lying unused because baggage ramp was not suitable for international flights. Another motive to move these services to Terminal 4 is to decongest the existing domestic terminal – Terminal 1. This will allow the airport to increase its slots capacity. Airlines can start more flights and increase frequencies on current routes.
On the adjacent side of newly built Integrated Terminal Building, a new terminal is being built. When the construction of this building will be completed, the airport will have a capacity of handling 35 million passengers per annum. In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Phase-I of New Integrated Terminal Building built at a price of Rs 1,260 crore.
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