NEW DELHI :
Domestic air passenger traffic recovered in February after a sharp decline in the previous month as more people chose to travel by air amid abating of the Omicron wave of coronavirus.
Airports in the country catered to 17.66 million passengers in the month, rising from 15.27 million in January, but lower than December’s 25.12 million, showed data from the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Indian airports are expected to turn profitable in 2022-23, after nearly two years, driven by the resumption of scheduled international flights, and fare hikes, rating agency Icra Ltd said in a report earlier this week.
Passenger count at airports is expected to surge 68-70% to 317-320 million in the next financial year, while domestic passenger traffic is expected to climb 64-66% to hit pre-covid levels, Icra said.
While airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata posted the highest domestic air passenger traffic in February, those in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad were also the busiest for international flights during the month.
In February, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport reported around 3.07 million domestic passengers, up from 2.33 million in January, but lower December’s 4.17 million. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport clocked 1.9 million domestic passengers, up from 1.38 million in January, but lower than December’s 2.54 million.
Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport and Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport recorded 1.3 million and 981,003 domestic passengers, respectively, in February, up from 1.1 million and 872,772 passengers, respectively, in the previous months. Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport clocked 994,737 domestic passengers, up from 872,772 in January.
However, international passenger traffic fell to 2.38 million in February, from 2.51 million in the previous month. Total domestic air passenger traffic rose from 12.76 million in January to 15.28 million in February.
New Delhi recorded 722,431 international passengers in February, up from 709,889 in January, but below December’s 842,582, while Mumbai saw 367,223 passengers in February, down from 370,681 in January. Kochi and Chennai airports saw 214,983 and 194,128 international passengers, respectively, in February, falling from 250,326, and 206,167, respectively, in the previous month.