There is no permanent Hajj Terminal at DEL or any of the 10 Hajj gateways from India. However, this year, Air India experimented with off-site checkin for pilgrims traveling from BLR, MAA, DEL, CCU, CCJ, LKO and HYD. The facility you saw was the off-site checkin center. Use of such facilities reduces the strain on the normal terminal operations during the crunch of Hajj charters. Hajj pilgrims are checked in, pre-cleared for customs and immigration formalities and undergo security checks in the dedicated off-site area before being transported directly to the aircraft. Hajj pilgrims flying through BOM, COK or SXR still use the facilities at the main terminal.
This year Air India and Indian Airlines operated a total of 144 dedicated Hajj charters, plus 102 dedicated Hajj charters by Saudi Arabian Airlines. AI also operated 26 scheduled extra sections in addition to the 9x weekly service to JED. A total of 70,514 pilgrims traveled on these charters, plus an additional 19,750 on scheduled services.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada