The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad has been witnessing steady growth in both passenger footfall and air traffic movement in the past couple of months. The month of May saw 15 lakh domestic passengers and 2.7 lakh international passengers travelling through the airport.
The number of domestic passengers in a single day from the airport crossed 53,000 on May 15, which is about 103% of pre-Covid daily average domestic traffic whereas the number of international passengers in a single day crossed 10,000 on June 10. This is the highest ever post-COVID number at the airport or 99% of the pre-COVID daily average traffic, informed an official spokesperson on Monday.
Compared to other metro airports across the country, the RGIA, operated by GMR Group, has the highest international passenger recovery, during the period April 2021 to March 2022. In the domestic segment, the recovery is said to be at par with the Delhi International Airport, which is also run by the GMR Group.
The ease of international travel restrictions as well as the gradual recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in the airport recording the highest post-COVID domestic Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) of 401 on May 15 (89% of pre-pandemic traffic). The domestic traffic recovery of Hyderabad airport was 93% of pre-COVID level and international traffic recovery was 86% in May 2022, explained the spokesperson.
The airport has added 15 new domestic destinations, taking the total to over 70, from the pre-COVID figure of 55, with new routes to Gulbarga and Hubbali. Except for Hong Kong, the airport is is now connected to old favourite destinations like London, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Qatar, Sharjah, Doha and Kuwait among others. New connectivity to Chicago and Maldives has got an “exceptional” response from travellers, he said.
Recently, Thai Smile Airlines resumed direct Hyderabad-Bangkok flights and Air Asia Berhad its Hyderabad-Kuala Lumpur flights, he said.
Delhi, Goa on top
Top growth sectors from here are towards Delhi and Goa with the top international destination being Dubai in the Middle East and Singapore in the Asia Pacific region. “We are seeing a rise in passenger footfall with gradual rebound in aviation travel with declining COVID cases and increasing number of vaccinated travellers. With many countries easing restrictions and opening up their skies to travellers, we are hopeful that the momentum will continue to sustain,” said GMR Hyderabad International Airport CEO Pradeep Panicker.
With the first phase of airport expansion all set to commence services, efforts are also on to connect Hyderabad to more destinations across India and the globe, he added.