Tuesday, March 30, 2021

16 airports in tier-2, 3 and 4 towns surpass pre-COVID-19 passenger traffic

Even as the overall recovery in passenger traffic slowed down in the Indian aviation sector in February, airports in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities continue to be outliers.

From 14 in January, now 16 airports in these cities and towns have surpassed their pre-COVID-19 numbers, data from Airports Authority of India show. Most of the airports on the list improved on their numbers from January.

Airports in metros continue to be in deficit, with subdued corporate travel and restrictions impacting demand. These trends may accentuate in March, say industry observers, as reported cases of COVID-19 infection re-surge. In some of the busiest destinations, including Mumbai, the infections in this second wave have been much higher than the toll in the first wave.

Interestingly, daily flights continue to rise. A report by rating agency ICRA showed that departures have increased from 416 on May 25, when domestic flights resumed post the lockdown, to 2885 on February 14.

Still, from a year ago period, the average daily flights in February continue to be lower.

Airports in Dibrugarh, Rajkot, Dimapur and Kishangarh entered the list of those with traffic numbers higher, year-on-year, in February.

Interestingly, Airports Authority of India took to Twitter on March 29, to highlight the increase in footfalls in Dibrugarh airport. 

29/03/21 Prince Mathews Thomas/Moneycontrol.com

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