The Hyderabad International Airport recorded the highest passenger footfall of nearly 48,000 on October 9, nearing pre-COVID-19 levels. These include both domestic and international passengers. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit operations in March 2020, the airport was handling about 60,000 passengers daily. The airport also recorded 350 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) per day which is 77% of the pre-Covid numbers. With the number of COVID-19 cases steadily coming down across India and the confidence in travel gaining momentum, the average number of domestic passengers travelling from Hyderabad Airport per day rose to 31,137 in September as compared to 22,500 per day in July.
According to the operator, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), the airport saw an increase in the number of flights across domestic sectors. The airport recorded a substantial rise in ATMs in September which was close to 9,000. The passenger traffic surged in September with the airport witnessing traffic of 9.35 lakh domestic passengers as compared to 6.8 lakh domestic passengers in July. This is 62% of the pre-COVID-19 levels.
The domestic passenger recovery at Hyderabad Airport was the highest amongst all metro airports during July and August. The airport also saw a gradual increase in international travellers which was 1.2 lakh, which is 41% of the pre- COVID-19 level. "Overall, the total passenger traffic footfall (domestic & international) reached 59 per cent of the pre-Covid levels in the month of September '21," GHIAL said on Monday.
As the passenger expectations around air travel are changing, visits to family and friends, leisure travel, business travels and students travelling to join international universities are on the rise. Fliers' demand for domestic destinations is also on the rise.
Hyderabad International Airport now connects to 65 domestic destinations as compared to 55 destinations in the pre-COVID-19 period. In the last quarter, new domestic sectors like Rajkot, Srinagar, and Jamnagar were added. The airport recently launched Air India's maiden direct flight from Hyderabad to London. The Air India non-stop flights operate between Hyderabad International Airport and Heathrow Airport twice a week - Monday and Friday. Also, under the UDAN initiative to bolster regional connectivity, it launched Star Air's maiden flight from Hyderabad to Jamnagar.
Domestic destinations like Jamnagar, Jammu, and Chandigarh recorded huge growth in passenger volume flying out from Hyderabad. Jamnagar recorded a passenger growth rate of 346% in September as compared to August while Jammu recorded 286% and Chandigarh close to 244%.
The most popular domestic destinations in terms of passenger volume are Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Dubai, Doha and Sharjah are the hottest destinations among international travellers.Along with leisure/vacation travel, SME business travel and visiting Friends & Relatives (VFR), students have largely contributed to the increase in passenger numbers, a GHIAL official said.