Reporting a strong surge in passenger numbers, the Bengaluru airport has reported a massive 96 per cent growth in number of passengers in the last financial year 2022-23. When compared to the previous financial year, Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru reported a growth in passenger numbers with a total of 31.91 million passengers travelling through the airport.
Looking at the growth sector-wise, the airport’s domestic sector recorded a growth of 85 per cent, while the international sector recorded a growth of 245 per cent vs FY22. Of this, 28.12 million were domestic passengers and 3.78 million were international passengers during this period. The highest passenger number was recorded on February 26, 2023, with 114,299 passengers.
In terms of Cargo, the BLR Airport continues to be the number one airport for processing perishable cargo in India for the second consecutive year.
Commenting on the development, Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, BIAL, said, “From a passenger perspective, the highlights of the year have been Akasa’s growth story, the launch of Qantas’ service to Sydney and the launch of daily Airbus A380 services to Dubai by Emirates. Our position as the No.1 Airport for processing perishable cargo in India for the second consecutive year is a testament to our commitment to excellence. With the recent launch of Terminal 2 (T2), we are better equipped than ever before, to maintain our standing as the preferred gateway to South and Central India. Our commitment to enhancing the Airport’s operations remains unwavering as we continue to prioritise the satisfaction and convenience of our passengers.”
The increase in passengers in FY23 can be attributed to post-pandemic operations resumption, as well as the re-introduction of key routes and the initiation of new routes connecting leading business hubs and travel destinations. BLR Airport is now connected to a total of 100 destinations, 75 destinations across India, and 25 International, contributing to a steady recovery, the airport management said in a statement.
The recovery in air transport movements (ATMs) has been impressive, with a 50.8 per cent overall growth in FY 23. Domestic ATMs saw a 49.8 per cent growth while international growth stood at 59.6 per cent.
Expansion in recent times
Major international airlines have reinstated their operations from Bengaluru. Additionally, the airport has added several international routes, such as Qantas Airways commencing four weekly non-stop Bengaluru-Sydney flights, Cathay Pacific commencing flights on the Bengaluru-Hong Kong route, Jazeera Airways commencing flights on the Bengaluru-Kuwait route, and Malindo Air commencing flights on the Bengaluru-Kuala Lumpur route.
In addition, BLR Airport has also seen the launch of A380 operations by Emirates on one of their daily services to Dubai and the reinstatement of Air India’s three weekly, non-stop Bengaluru-San Francisco flights. In FY23 BLR Airport also became the first airport in South and Central India to have direct connectivity to Australia and North America.
On the domestic front, Akasa Air launched operations from BLR Airport with 25 daily departures to 9 destinations across India. IndiGo remains the leading domestic airline from Bengaluru Airport with 57 per cent market share, followed by the Tata Group airlines, which have a total market share of 27 per cent. Impressively, Akasa Air in just eight months since the launch of its operations has managed to capture 10 per cent market share of BLR Airport’s domestic operations.
Growing transfer hub
The Kempegowda airport is also a preferred hub for transfer passengers due to its regional connectivity, and this has further helped in the recovery of its passenger numbers. Transfer traffic constitutes 15.3 per cent of total departing passenger traffic at the Airport.