Kempegowda Airport is back to pre-covid passenger levels due to the high traffic volumes


The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) announced that Kempegowda Airport (KIA) is back to pre-COVID-19 passenger levels due to the high traffic volumes observed in the current fiscal year (FY) 2023 up until October 26. 

According to BIAL, compared to October 2019, passenger traffic volumes increased by over 102% for domestic travel and by nearly 85% for international travel. From the beginning of the current fiscal year to the last week of October, the airport welcomed 16.30 million passengers, compared to 6.61 million at the same time the previous year.

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“The aviation market witnessed a 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.”

Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, BIAL

Traffic resurgence persisted in both the domestic and international sectors.

With the Deepavali weekend on October 21, the start of the holiday and festive season, 94,330 travellers passed through the airport. The Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru saw a lot of people in the days before Diwali. Thousands of passengers were seen lining up at 3 am with their bags to board flights. In a video that went viral, the airport did really resemble a crowded shopping mall 

Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore records a 5-fold rise in global travellers

The frequency of flights to domestic locations has increased, improving connectivity to Tier II and III cities. As a result, from April to September 2022, transfer travel accounted for 14% of all airport traffic, while non-metro traffic climbed to 58% of all airport traffic. 

International airlines like Qantas and Cathay Pacific started flying to and from the airport, and these launches also increased the number of passengers in the international sectors. With more airlines adding extra capacity and resuming service to and from the airport, growth in the international segment is anticipated to expand.

While Ethiopian, Malindo Air, and Air Asia have restored regular passenger service, Emirates, Air France, KLM, Japan Airlines, and Kuwait Airways have increased their operations. One of the main reasons Emirates deployed an A380 to the airport was cited as the increased demand.

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The world’s largest passenger aircraft Airbus A380 touches down at Bangalore Airport

The arrival of Emirates flight EK562’s Airbus A380 was witnessed by a large crowd of enthusiastic aviation fans at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) at 15:27 local time on October 14. Emirates ran a single Airbus A380 flight to BLR, before starting the service formally on October 30. 

In FY23, 118,852 ATMs were recovered during Air Traffic Movements (ATM) at the airport. Domestic ATMs stood at 1,05,354, while International ATMs stood at 13,498.

According to BIAL, the airport has made a name for itself as the principal South Indian transfer gateway. The main domestic routes in FY 2023 up to this point have been Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Pune, accounting for 44% of all traffic, while the top international routes have been Dubai, Doha, Singapore, Frankfurt, and Male, making up 54% of all international traffic.

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