Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Kolkata airport traffic yet to take off and touch pre-pandemic level

All facilities have opened up in the city but Kolkata airport has far fewer passengers and flights than what it used to before the Covid pandemic, which has made the authorities defer an expansion plan for the terminal even further.

According to the authorities, Kolkata airport is handling around 350 flights everyday on an average as against more than 500 before the pandemic.

The passenger count would also be much less compared to earlier times by the end of this financial year, airport officials said.

In the financial year 2019-20, the airport had handled 22 million passengers in one year. In 2020-21, the number had dropped to around 7.5 million, said an official.

In the current financial year, till now, around eight million passengers have used the airport but officials apprehend that the number would be nowhere near the pre-pandemic times by March 31.

“The restrictions of domestic flights from cities like Mumbai and Chennai have been lifted by the state government since the first week of October. However, the number of domestic flights and passengers is still less compared to pre-pandemic times,” said C. Pattabhi, the director of Kolkata airport, said on Tuesday.

He said the numbers were even lower for international flights and passengers.

For the domestic sector, on an average, 50,000 passengers are using the airport daily as against 65,000 earlier.

24/11/21 Sanjay Mandal/My Kolkata

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