While passenger traffic has increased at most airports in Karnataka when compared to the same period last year, a few of them have seen a downfall.
As per Airport Authority of India (AAI) data on number of passengers who travelled during August 2022, of the eight airports in the State, three recorded lesser number of passengers when compared to August 2021.
While Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Mangaluru, Hubballi, Mysuru and Bidar airports saw an increase in number of passengers in August 2022, Belagavi, Vijayanagar (Hampi), Kalaburgi saw a dip in numbers when compared to August 2021.
As per AAI data, 23.5 lakh passengers used KIA in August 2022 as against 12 lakh during the corresponding period of the previous year signalling a change of 86%.
Similarly, Mangaluru saw the movement of 1.5 lakh passengers, Hubballi 23,670 passengers, Mysuru 16,181 passengers and Bidar 1,401 from their respective airports in August 2022 as against 63,316; 17,275; 8,474 and 1,015 in August 2021.
Belagavi saw 23,145 passengers, Kalaburgi saw 6,914, Vijayanagar saw 32 passengers using the airport in August 2022 as against 24,499; 8,205 and 333 passengers in August 2021.
Also with regard to total number of aircraft movement, KIA, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Bidar airports saw more aircraft taking off and landing during August 2022 as against August 2021.
However Belagavi, Hubballi, Kalaburgi and Vijayanagar saw a drop in the total number of aircraft movements. As per data, Belagavi recorded a drop of 26.5 %, while Hubballi, Kalaburgi and Vijayanagar registered a decrease of 17.4%, 12.9% and 87.2% respectively in August 2022 as against August 2021.
Simran Singh Tiwana, chief executive officer, Star Air, whose airline’s hub is the Belagavi airport, said one aircraft from its fleet has been undergoing maintenance for the past few months and as a result of this, it has reduced the frequency of flights.
“Out of our fleet of five aircraft, one is undergoing maintenance and once it rejoins operations, another one goes for maintenance. So, at any point of time, we have only four aircraft in service. Due to this, we have reduced the frequency. Say, instead of operating five days a week, we now operate four four days a week. This could be the reason for reduced passenger and aircraft movement,” the CEO said.
The director of Kalaburagi airport said that due to cancellation of a few flights and reduced frequency, there is a drop in passenger and aircraft movement during August.