Saturday, February 03, 2018

Domestic fliers propel Madurai airport growth

Madurai: The number of passengers handled by the Madurai international airport has doubled in a matter of four years. While the airport has been on the growth trajectory ever since its inception, there has been a phenomenal surge from March last year. Officials say that the growth is fuelled by the domestic sector.
The air traffic data released recently by Airport Authority of India (AAI) shows that 12,82,314 passengers were handled by Madurai airport last year, which is more than double the 6,39,906 passengers who flew in 2013.
As the numbers crossed the one million mark in a calendar year for the first time, the fact that 9,93,912 domestic passengers had used the airport in 2017 stands out. While the feat was achieved by October itself, the airport seems to have narrowly missed achieving the milestone of flying one million domestic passengers alone in a year.
Airport authorities say that the increase was remarkable from March 2017 and they expected the figures to rise further from next month. "At least five more flights are planned to be operated from this summer. This will take the fliers' count to newer levels," said airport director V V Rao.
Sources from the AAI said operators like Indigo, Alliance air, Spice Jet and Jet airways had approached it to operate the flights. The proposed connections were to Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai which they expected to start from March-end.
While the airport is growing by leaps and bounds, aviation enthusiasts have urged the authorities to ensure that the infrastructure meets the growing demand.
03/02/18 Times of India