Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Bengaluru airport records highest cargo handling in 2021, recovery in passenger traffic

Bengaluru: The Kempegowda International Airport has recorded its highest-ever cargo tonnage despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, said Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL).

In 2021, the airport handled an all-time high of 4,06,688 metric tonnes (MT) of cargo, recording a significant growth of 28.6 per cent against the 3,16,305 MT in 2020. “This is still 7.2 per cent more than the pre-Covid level tonnage of 3,79,348 MT in 2019,” BIAL spokesperson said.

“International cargo recorded a 32.8 per cent growth as 2,65,873 MT was processed as compared to 2,00,209 MT in 2020. Domestic cargo grew at 21.3 per cent as 1,40,815 MT was processed as against 1,16,096 MT in 2020,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, the United States (US) and Europe continue to be the top trade lanes from the airport.

“The tremendous recovery in air cargo is a positive sign for the aviation sector that has been severely impacted by the pandemic,” said Hari Marar, MD & CEO, BIAL.

“The key factors that contributed to the cargo growth at Bengaluru airport are our resilient ecosystem that ensured efficient operations round the clock, focus on supply chain efficiencies, conducive geographic location, aided with robust infrastructure and technology, the right mix of commodities and adequate airline capacities to key markets globally,” Marar added.

Thirteen airlines operate freighters to and from Bengaluru airport and various domestic and international destinations. “Commodities driving the growth are perishables (both agricultural and poultry products), pharma, chemicals and textiles in the exports category, and electronics, heavy machinery, healthcare and life science products in the imports category. Notably, Bengaluru airport has emerged as the No. 1 airport in the country for perishable exports, accounting for 31 per cent of India’s total perishable shipments during the financial year 2020-21,” the spokesperson said.

Bengaluru airport authorities said that the increased pace of Covid-19 vaccination has led to a substantial recovery in domestic passenger traffic in 2021.

“During this period, Bengaluru airport welcomed 16.07 million passengers, registering a growth of 18.9 per cent from 13.51 million passengers in 2020. Bengaluru Airport has been able to recover 48 per cent of the pre-Covid level traffic of 33.65 million passengers handled in 2019,” the spokesperson explained.

After the gradual easing of curbs by various state governments, domestic passenger traffic recorded double-digit growth of 22 per cent, an upswing from 12.39 million in 2020 to 15.12 million in 2021. The second wave of Covid-19, which led to continued travel restrictions across the globe, followed by supply-side limitations on seat load had led to a decline in international traffic. During this period, international passenger traffic shrunk by 15.5 per cent, from 1.12 million in 2020 to 0.94 million in 2021.

25/01/22 Darshan Devaiah BP/Indian Express

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