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Monday, July 26, 2021

Covid-19 impact: Passenger traffic at Bengaluru airport records 66% decline

After showing signs of recovery during the middle of the fiscal, the traffic dropped significantly due to a rise in the number of Covid cases in India, beginning February 2021.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: June 25, 2021 5:18:57 pm
The airport, which managed to record 32.3 million passengers in the previous financial year (2019-20), could welcome only 10.91 million passengers since domestic air travel resumed in India on May 25, 2020, following a two-month suspension. (Express file photo)

In an unprecedented observation, the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru reported a decline in passenger traffic by 66 per cent during the financial year 2020-21, especially due to the travel curbs and lockdown-related crises that arose since the Covid-19 pandemic set in.

The airport, which managed to record 32.3 million passengers in the previous financial year (2019-20), could welcome only 10.91 million passengers since domestic air travel resumed in India on May 25, 2020, following a two-month suspension.

As per statistics shared by the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), 10.45 million passengers flew domestic routes, recording a 63% drop, as compared to 27 million in FY 2019-20. International routes witnessed 4 million passengers in 2019-20 – the passenger footfall, however, declined substantially to 0.46 million in 2020-21, indicating a decline of 90%.

This fall is mainly attributed to the continued suspension of international flights and imposition Covid-19 restrictions across the globe. After showing signs of recovery during the middle of the fiscal, the traffic dropped significantly due to a rise in the number of Covid cases in India, beginning February 2021.

Further, a BIAL spokesperson added that the reduced slots for airlines at airports driven by DGCA guidelines, too, added to the lowered numbers. “Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) dropped by 50% to113,993 from 231,051 in 2019-20. While domestic movements reduced by 49% at 102,801, international traffic saw 11,192 movements, lower by 61% in the last 311 days of operations,” the spokesperson explained.

Cargo operations face marginal impact

However, the subdued environment due to the pandemic had a marginal impact on cargo operations. The cargo processed during the 2020-21 fiscal was 326,643 Metric Tonnes (MT), 12.70% short of last fiscal’s 374,181 MT.

On an overall basis, the domestic tonnage was 119,125 MT, 20% short of last year’s tonnage, while international tonnage was 207,518 MT, 7% short of the previous financial year.

Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai top destinations for flyers from Bengaluru

With domestic destinations outshining their international counterparts due to the suspension of regular flights outside India, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai emerged top destinations for flyers from Bengaluru.

BIAL officials noted that 11.6 per cent of passengers from KIA flew to Delhi, while the same to Kolkata and Mumbai were 11 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. With 363 ATMs recorded on an average daily, most ATMs (555) were recorded on February 27, 2021

Meanwhile, 69,421 passengers were at KIA on February 13, 2021, the highest recorded in the 2020-21 fiscal. As many as 23 airlines, 8 domestic and 15 cargo used the services of the Airport while 13 air-bubble routes were facilitated from the Karnataka capital, BIAL noted.

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