Saturday, June 30, 2018

Thiruvananthapuram Airport expects modest growth in 2018; IndiGo maintains #1 carrier status

In 2017, Thiruvananthapuram Airport was India’s 14th busiest airport, handling around 4.2 million passengers. However, despite annual growth in excess of 10% above 2016 traffic levels, the airport actually slipped three spots down the rankings, having been leapfrogged by Guwahati (+31%), Jaipur (+24%) and Lucknow (+17%) during that 12-month period. Thiruvananthapuram has a scheduled non-stop network of 22 destinations, led by Bengaluru (8,798 weekly seats), Dubai (6,166) and Chennai (5,646).

The airport currently boasts 18 serving carriers in the week commencing 28 June. A year ago, it only had 17 airlines, with Saudi Arabian Airlines being the latest addition to the airport’s carrier portfolio. The SkyTeam carrier added a three times weekly service from Riyadh and a twice-weekly operation from Jeddah to the Indian city in October last year.

Despite being in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets, traffic throughput at Thiruvananthapuram has been stable and unremarkable alongside some of its more dynamic peers which are increasing passenger volumes at break-neck speed. That said, the airport will effectively have doubled in size since 2010 if traffic forecasts for 2018 are correct. Additionally, in two of the last eight years it has produced double-digit growth, in 2015 and 2017.
Weekly seats at Thiruvananthapuram have increased by 3.5% year-on-year, when compared to the same week in 2017. However when consulting the latest monthly data (January to April 2018) from Airports Authority of India, the airport has averaged 16% growth so far this year. So clearly airline loads have been rising to fuel this traffic increase. The 16% increase is just behind the national average for the country’s 57 busiest airports in that period, which is 20%. On this basis, if Thiruvananthapuram manages to maintain its current level of monthly traffic increases, then it could get close to breaking the five million annual throughput milestone for the first time in 2018.

When using’s SVID calculator, Thiruvananthapuram delivers a score of 0.93, which means it gains an “Excellent” rating. Comparing this seasonal performance against those of its nearest domestic rivals – India’s 13th largest airport Lucknow and 15th largest Kozhikode – Thiruvananthapuram performs well. While both peer airports score an “Excellent” result, Kozhikode has the most seasonal traffic profile (scoring 1.03) of the three airports. Evidently, Thiruvananthapuram has slightly less year-round appeal than Lucknow, as the latter’s monthly passenger figures yield it a very healthy score of 0.59.
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