NEW DELHI: An undeclared move by the Immigration Bureau at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport to close business class and first class counters led to the delay of over a dozen flights in the last 48 hours.Justifying the decision taken on Saturday, the Immigration Bureau claims that the move will help them in processing immigration formalities swiftly as the four counters (previously business class and first class) have converted into normal counters, available for everyone.
“We have closed the four counters earlier dedicated to business class and first class. The step is temporary as it is an experiment, if it solves the purpose of smooth timely immigration clearance, we will make it permanent,” a top Immigration Bureau official told the New Indian Express. “We don’t need to serve prior notice to anyone before implementing such steps. Delay in flights is the responsibility of the Airlines,” the official replied. The bureau is also claiming that the step will end the preferential treatment given to a section of passengers.
According to the data accessed by the New Indian Express, flights which got delayed in last 48 hours due to ‘delay in Immigration clearance’ includes 6E-1701(Delhi to Doha), 6E-47 (Delhi to Dubai), BA-142 (London Heathrow) etc.On Saturday night, Foreigner Regional Registration Officer, Delhi reached Delhi IGI airport and asked the staff to convert counters into normal passengers counter, claimed sources.