Bengaluru

Despite COVID-19, KIA sees rise in domestic passenger traffic by 22% in 2021

The second wave of the pandemic in 2021 had an impact on the volume of international passengers at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). Travel restrictions across the world saw international traffic drop by 15.5%, from 1.12 million in 2020 to 0.94 million in 2021.

On the other hand, domestic passenger traffic recorded a double-digit growth of 22%. As per data released by Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), which manages KIA, domestic passenger traffic increased from 12.39 million in 2020 to 15.12 million last year.

KIA registered a footfall of 16.07 million passengers in the year 2021. In a press release, BIAL claimed the airport has been able to recover 48% of the pre-COVID level traffic of 33.65 million passengers handled in 2019.

“The positive environment in 2021 ignited hopes for a better 2022 in terms of recovery. However, the recent outbreak of the new Omicron variant followed by a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases across the country is expected to suppress growth further,” said MD and CEO of BIAL, Hari Marar.

He added that the pace of recovery will depend on factors such as favourable policies by regulators and easing of travel restrictions across the country and globe among others.

As per the recent decision of Directorate General of Civil Aviation, ban on scheduled or regular international flights has been extended till February 28.

New domestic destinations

Last year, KIA handled 1,53,212 air traffic movements (ATM). The highest single-day ATM was 590, registered on December 19, 2021. The average ATM for 2021 was 420 per day.

“The year also saw a significant growth in the number of domestic destinations from 54 (pre-COVID-19) to 74, the highest ever for the airport. This is an outcome of enhanced connectivity to Tier II/III cities,” stated the release.

In 2021, 14 new routes were introduced from Bengaluru to Agra, Bareilly, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Nashik, Silchar, Jamnagar, and Kanpur, among others.

The top domestic routes are Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Goa, with these sectors contributing 40% to the traffic. On the international front, Dubai, Male, Doha, London, and Frankfurt were the top cities, contributing 70.0% to the traffic.

The release adds that United Airlines and American Airlines are expected to commence operations in 2022 to San Francisco and Seattle, respectively.

28.6% growth in cargo handling

The airport handled 4,06,688 metric tonnes of cargo and achieved a growth of 28.6%. “International cargo recorded a 32.8% growth, 2,65,873 MT processed, as compared to 2,00,209 MT in 2020. Domestic cargo grew at 21.3%, 1,40,815 MT processed versus 1,16,096 MT in 2020. The United States of America and Europe continue to be the top trade lanes from Bengaluru airport,” stated the release.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 11:54:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/despite-covid-19-kia-sees-rise-in-domestic-passenger-traffic-by-22-in-2021/article38319760.ece