International air travel is limping back to normalcy at various airports across the world and the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is no different. Ever since the Ministry of Civil Aviation opened up the international airspace in India on March 27, the number of passengers travelling abroad and those flying in has increased significantly.
Bengaluru, which was not among the top five Indian cities in terms of international passengers since the first quarter of 2020 (January-March), has broken into the top five in the third quarter of 2022 (July-September).
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s analytical report on the quarterly international traffic statistics, Bengaluru occupied the fifth place in the top five Indian cities in terms of international passenger traffic during the third quarter of 2022 with 6.5% passenger share.
Delhi, followed by Mumbai and Chennai, occupied the top three positions, while Kochi was in the fourth spot.
The last time Bengaluru was in the top five bracket was in the first quarter of 2020 with a passenger share of 6.7%, and that was before COVID. India shut its airspace on March 23, 2020, due to the pandemic.
Bengaluru used to be among the top five in 2019, occupying the fourth spot with a passenger share hovering between 7 % and 7.8%. Airport officials said while the domestic sector has fully recovered, international is yet to catch up to the pre-COVID levels.
“Out of the 29 Indian cities from where international passengers embark/disembark, five Indian cities accounted for most (approximately 69.1%) of the international passenger traffic. Delhi tops the position in this category with a share of 27.3%, followed by Mumbai (18.4% share) and Chennai (9% share). Domestic and foreign carriers connect India to 50 countries through 307 routes,” states the DGCA report.
It added that the maximum international passengers were carried on the Dubai-Mumbai sector, followed by Dubai-Delhi. From KIA, maximum international passengers travelled on the Dubai-Bengaluru sector.
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