Cargo records tumble at Bengaluru Kempegowda

Despite challenging circumstances due to multiple waves of COVID, Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) recorded its highest-ever cargo volumes in its last financial year (FY2022).

The gateway reports that it handled an all-time high tonnage of 411,513 tonnes of cargo, recording a growth of 26% as against 326,643M processed in FY2021.

International cargo recorded a 31% growth, while domestic volumes grew by 17% to 139,525 tonnes for the year.

Operator BIAL notes that perishable cargo has been one of the major drivers of growth. Indeed, BLR is the No.1 airport in the country for handling perishables — estimated to account for 31% of India’s total perishable shipments.

October 2021 proved to be the busiest month in FY2022, with the 39,518 tonnes of cargo handled during the month setting a new monthly total for the gateway.

BIAL says that the totals ensured that the airport “achieved a significant” record as it now accounts for 13% of India’s air cargo market and 45% of the market in South India.

It is also the only major airport in the country to show growth over pre-pandemic levels.

Rise in passenger traffic

Passenger traffic continues to recover with over 45% growth in domestic travel and about 136% growth in international travel in FY2022 as compared to FY2021.

BLR welcomed 16.28 million passengers in FY2022 versus 10.91 million passengers in FY2021.

“Our focus on driving operational efficiencies coupled with a resilient ecosystem has enabled us to end FY2022 on a record high both in terms of cargo and passenger volumes,” enthuses BIAL’s managing director and CEO, Hari Marar.

“It also reflects our commitment to serving the industry and our customers through sustained innovations and technological advancements.”

With restrictions easing up, corporate traffic is gradually reviving both in domestic and international sectors. This is influenced by higher vaccination penetration, lower infection rates, relaxation of travel restrictions, cross border regulations, and increased economic activities.

The number of domestic destinations currently served direct from BLR has grown to 76 compared to 54 last year, and this has been possible due to enhanced connectivity to Tier II/III cities.

Share of non-metro traffic to/from BLR increased from 45% pre-COVID (Apr’19-Feb’20) to 60% in FY2022, signifying growing penetration of non-metro connectivity.

As a result, the transfer traffic share at BLR increased to 18% in FY2022, compared to 10% pre-COVID.

Top domestic routes in FY2022 were Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Goa, with these sectors contributing 40% to the traffic.

BLR served 20 international destinations in F 2022 with Dubai, Male, Doha, London, and Frankfurt being the top cities contributing 67% to the traffic. Growth in the international segment is expected to increase as more airlines reinstate operations to and from Bengaluru during the coming months.

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