Passenger Capacity at Indian Airports Set to Surge by 60 Million – India Report

Skift Take

Till a decade ago, roads and railways were major means of transportation between places other than metros and tier 1 cities in India. The inauguration of these airports plays a key role in regional air connectivity.

The annual passenger capacity at Indian airports is set to increase by 60 million. This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated new terminal buildings at 12 airports across the country.

These include the Delhi airport; Pune and Kolhapur airports in Maharashtra; Gwalior, Chitrakoot, and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh; Lucknow, Aligarh, Moradabad, Shravasti, and Azamgarh airports in Uttar Pradesh; and Adampur airport in Punjab.

He also laid foundation stones for new terminal buildings at Kadapa airport in Andhra Pradesh and Hubballi and Belagavi airports in Karnataka. Collectively, these three buildings will add a capacity of 9.5 million passengers annually. 

Boost to aviation sector: While the government is increasing the number of airports in India, the Adani Group has revealed its plans to expand seven of the airports in its portfolio. This comes as the air passenger traffic in the country is expected to surpass the pre-Covid levels in the 2023-24 fiscal year. 

The boost in aviation infrastructure is accompanied by the airlines’ plans to scale their operations. Last year, budget carrier IndiGo placed an order for 500 Airbus A320 family aircraft. Former national carrier Air India also placed an order for 470 new aircraft with Airbus and Boeing.

Air travel for regional connectivity: The government and the industry have been focusing on driving passengers towards air travel for regional connectivity. Till a decade ago, roads and railways were major means of transportation between places other than metros and tier 1 cities in India.

With regional connectivity schemes such as UDAN, there has been a push towards bringing air travel to the residents of tier 2 and 3 cities. This has been complemented by the coming up of regional budget airlines such Akasa Air and Fly91, accompanied by expansion of IndiGo and SpiceJet airlines. 

Uptick in Leisure Bookings as Long Weekends Due to Holi, Good Friday Approach

Online travel agency MakeMyTrip has revealed that there is a significant uptick in leisure bookings in India as long weekends due to Holi, falling on the last Monday of the month, and Good Friday, the following Friday, approach.

Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group CEO, MakeMyTrip, said that Goa is the top domestic destination in terms of flight bookings as well as hotel bookings. 

In terms of short-haul international travel, it found that the United Arab Emirates topped in preference of Indian travelers, followed by Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The United Kingdom and the United States of America remained preferred long-haul international destinations. 

Religious tourism is on an upswing in the country, and the festive weekends follow the trend. MakeMyTrip revealed that hotel bookings in religious destinations like Puri, Varanasi, and Amritsar have doubled since last year.

ITC Hotels to Get New Welcomhotel in Karnataka

ITC Hotels has signed a new Welcomhotel in Karnataka’s Coorg district. The 150-key Welcomhotel Madikeri will be located at the Madikeri hill in the Western Ghats. Anil Chadha, divisional chief executive, ITC Hotels, said that this expansion came after the region’s increased popularity over the past few years. 

ITC Hotels currently has 11 operating hotels in Karnataka. They are a part of the group’s larger portfolio of more than 130 hotels across the country. In December last year, the company said that it plans to increase its room inventory by 50% over the next five years to 18,000 keys across 200 hotels. The company already had a pipeline of over 3,000 keys and this hotel in Madikeri adds to the projects under development.

Two Senior Executives Resign From SpiceJet

Two senior executives have resigned from budget airline SpiceJet, according to reports in the Indian Media. The resignations have reportedly come from Arun Kashyap, chief operating officer, and Shilpa Bhatia, chief commercial officer.

In a statement, the airline said that Bhatia has left the team with immediate effect along with several members of the commercial team. It added that this is a part of the airline’s strategic restructuring. 

SpiceJet has been facing financial issues for some time. It is also caught in court cases regarding the amount it owes to Credit Suisse, former owner Kalanithi Maran, as well as lessors of aircraft and engines. Accordingly, last year, the company’s board approved its proposal to raise fresh capital from 64 entities including financial institutions.

The airline has received INR 10 billion ($121 million) from investors and is in the process of restructuring, which involves laying off around 800 staff members. 

Pune to Get New International Airport at Purandar

Pune city in Maharashtra is set to get a new airport at Purandar, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said. The construction is expected to commence this year itself and is expected to be completed within the next four years. 

The announcement came just before a new terminal building at the existing Lohegaon airport in the city was inaugurated. The new terminal building is expected to increase the passenger handling capacity to 12 million. According to media reports citing officials at the Pune airport, in 2023, the city recorded a 37% increase in air passenger traffic as compared to 2022. In 2023, 9.5 million passengers used the Pune airport, up from 6.9 million in 2022. 

Leisure Hotels Group Launches Bedzzz Xclusiv in Goa

Leisure Hotels Group has announced the launch of Bedzzz Xclusiv in Morjim, Goa. The new venture comes after the group’s Bedzzz witnessed success in Rishikesh and Varanasi in North India. Bedzzz Xcludiv includes a ‘Sociotel’ or Social Hotel concept. With this concept, the group aims to include social experiences in its offerings at the 27-key hotel. 

According to director Vibhas Prasad, the concept caters to modern “youth-minded” travelers, offering them opportunities for social interaction during their stays. The group is looking to have 100 properties in its portfolio by 2030.

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