Friday, June 04, 2021

Air traffic across Karnataka declines in April amid COVID-19 resurgence

Bengaluru: The resurgence of the COVID pandemic has put paid to the promise of a revival of air traffic seen in January 2021 with airports across Karnataka reporting poor passenger traffic for April 2021. The figure is a clear dip over the traffic reported in the two months prior to that (February and March).

With airports across India fully shut down for passengers during the corresponding month last year when the first wave of the COVID pandemic struck, the occupancy figures were nil in April in most airports. During the second wave of the pandemic, airports are up and running with limited operations.

According to statistics released by the Airport Authority of India on Thursday, airports across the country carried 1,24,60,127 passengers in April 2021 as compared to just 61,681 in April 2020. This includes 1,10,85,114 domestic passengers and 13,75,013 international passengers.

Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) recorded 11,47,061 passengers in April. In March, it recorded 14,90,908 passengers including 84,145 international passengers. February had 15,14,719 with 75,633 international passengers. In January this year, it had 15,66,521 passengers, almost half of that recorded in January 2020.

The only other international airport in the state in Mangaluru had 1,07,454 passengers in January this year. February marked a very minor improvement just 33 extra passengers (1,07,487) but it dipped to 93,578 in March with a further dip of 72,257 in the just released April statistics.

In the calendar year 2019, KIA had a good growth rate of 4.1% over the previous year with 33.65 million passengers. It looks unlikely to have those robust growth figures in the face of the ongoing COVID surge in the city.

04/06/21 S. Lalitha/New Indian Express

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