Monday, February 12, 2018

Low-cost carriers propel Delhi airport into the 60-mn passenger club

A robust number of domestic air passengers last year made Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport the sixth-busiest airport in Asia and one of the top 20 busiest in the world. It entered the 60-million club by handling as many as 63.5 million passengers in 2017 – more than some of the busiest airports like Changi, Incheon and Jakarta.
Of the 21 airports that handled more than 60 million passengers during the year, 10 were in Asia, five in North America, five in Europe, and one in the Gulf.
The rate of overall traffic growth, however, slowed to 14 per cent in 2017, against 21 per cent a year earlier, primarily due to less capacity addition by low-cost carriers. A technical glitch with Pratt Whitney engines impacted the capacity induction plan of IndiGo, which is based out of Delhi’s IGI airport.
In contrast to global peers, the Delhi airport saw a lion’s share of its passenger growth coming from domestic flyers, which, at 46.6 million, accounted for 73 per cent of total passengers. The passenger growth was attributed mainly to Delhi-based low cost carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet. Additionally, a steady expansion by full-service carrier Vistara and the addition of new international routes by national carrier Air India also contributed.
“This traffic surge is mainly because of domestic growth. Many first-time fliers are adding to the boom, the ability to spend has grown manifold with a simultaneous boost from a low-fare environment,” said a senior executive at Delhi Airport.
12/02/18 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard