What started in Mumbai Airport as an experiment seems to be spreading across the country. In 2014, when Terminal 2 of the Mumbai Airport, then run by GVK, was opened, the airport decided not to give away any space to airlines to operate their separate lounges and instead operate a shared lounge for all airlines, much to the surprise of many airlines such as Emirates, British Airways and others who had invested money in opening their own lounges.
This approach was followed by Bangalore Airport as well, where the contract lounges were shown the door, to be replaced by a common BLR Lounge, which TFS will operate for them.
However, this seems to have given confidence to India’s ‘primary hub’ airport in Delhi, taking the space from airlines to operate their lounges. Before the pandemic, Delhi Airport had exclusive airport lounges for Vistara and Air India on the domestic pier of Terminal 3, and Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa on the international pier.
Vistara was asked to surrender their space at the airport by the Delhi Airport, and hence as of April 1, 2020, the Vistara Lounge at Delhi Airport was closed down for good at their primary hub airport.
But it turns out that the Delhi Airport move was not solitary for the Vistara Lounge. The airport has also asked various airport lounges at the international side of the airport to shut shop. As a result, both Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa have made permanent their lounge closures in Delhi Airport. This move has been wrongly reported as a cost-cutting move by a German magazine.
As per a Lufthansa statement to LiveFromALounge,
Lufthansa Group is currently finalizing an agreement that Lufthansa and SWISS customers can use lounge facilities at Delhi International Airport. Lounge services will in future be provided by the airport itself; Lufthansa Group and other international airlines had closed their lounges last year as part of this process.
Similarly, Singapore Airlines has also confirmed that their SilverKris Lounge at Delhi Airport has been closed down permanently. Delhi Airport will now operate a common lounge for all airlines at Delhi Airport International Pier, which is yet to be opened.
It seems the Emirates Lounge and ITC Green Lounge at Delhi Airport Terminal 3 are also gone. However, I don’t have a confirmation on this yet. As some sources put, Delhi Airport has given an exemption to Air India, which will be allowed to operate their lounges at Delhi Airport, given their size.
Delhi Airport will unveil a unified lounge at Delhi Airport, accessible by guests of all airlines. We don’t have a timeline yet, but this has led to Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa shutting down their lounges at Delhi Airport.
What do you make of this move by Delhi Airport to launch their lounge?
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