Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR Airport) is back at pre-COVID passenger levels owing to the high traffic numbers recorded in the current Financial Year FY 2023 to26 October. Displaying the ongoing momentum of passenger recovery, passenger traffic volumes registered over 102% growth in domestic travel and about 85% growth in international travel in October 2022, as compared to October 2019.
BLR Airport welcomed 16.30 million passengers in the current financial year until the last week of October, versus 6.61 million passengers during the same period last year. Traffic revival continued across both the domestic and international sectors due to the holiday and festive season. On October 21, which marked the beginning of the festive season with the Diwali weekend, 94,330 passengers travelled through BLR Airport.
“The aviation market witnessed robust demand in the last six months, and this has impacted the passenger volumes positively. Air travel had taken a significant hit due to the pandemic, but it is recovering now, and we have observed growth in recent months. We are very optimistic that this upward trend will continue over the next few quarters. BLR Airport is reporting good numbers due to its connectivity and being a preferred transfer hub. With the opening of Terminal 2, we will further consolidate our position as the gateway to South India”, said Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Bangalore International Airport Limited.
With this steady growth, the airport has established itself as the top transfer gateway in South India. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Pune have been the top domestic routes accounting for 44% of all traffic, while Dubai, Doha, Singapore, Frankfurt, and Male have been the top international routes contributing to 54% of the international traffic in FY 2023 to date. Growth in the international segment is expected to increase with more airlines inducting additional capacity and reinstating operations to and from the BLR Airport.
Additionally, an increase in the number of flights to domestic destinations has led to enhanced connectivity to Tier II/III cities. As a result, the share of non-metro traffic at BLR Airport increased to 58%, whereas transfer traffic accounted for 14% during the April-September ’22 period.
Air Traffic Movements (ATM) at BLR Airport witnessed a recovery of 118,852 ATMs in FY23. Domestic ATMs stood at 105,354, while international ATMs stood at 13,498.
International carriers like Qantas and Cathay Pacific have commenced operations to and from BLR Airport and these launches have also led to a higher volume in passenger numbers. Emirates, Air France, KLM, Japan Airlines, and Kuwait Airways have expanded their operations, while Ethiopian, Malindo Air, and Air Asia have resumed scheduled passenger flights. The higher demand is one of the primary reasons for Emirates to deploy A380 to BLR Airport.