The passenger footfall across airports is growing steadily and this comes as great news for the aviation industry as they believe the worst has passed. The operations at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport are normalising and sources in GMR indicate that the number of domestic passengers in a single day in November has touched the 37,000-mark post lockdown.
Last month, TNM had reported how Hyderabadâ€™s International airport is leading the revival of the aviation sector. Until September 30 the footfall stood at 1.2 million domestic passengers and now the number has touched the three million mark. The airport has handled over 3 million domestic passengers from the day of recommencement till 23rd November 2020. The Hyderabad International Airport continues to be the second-best connected airport after Delhi.
GMRâ€™s Hyderabad International Airport spokesperson said, â€śCrossing the three million passenger mark is a testimony to the growing passenger confidence in air travel. With the government allowing the airlines to operate 70% of their pre-COVID-19 capacity, GMR Hyderabad International Airport is all geared up for the safe travel of passengers with many contactless initiatives at the airport. The concern of access to RT-PCR test reports is also addressed with the recent launch of COVID-19 testing facility at the airport. With the steady increase in traffic in line with Hyderabadâ€™s economic resurgence, we are hopeful that we will soon reach the pre-COVID-19 level in terms of operationsâ€ť.
Ever since the quarantine norms have been relaxed by both the Union and state governments, people have been gradually gaining confidence to choose to fly. Initially, after the lockdown, the first few weeks saw just around 3000 domestic passengers post the recommencement of domestic operations on May 25. Today, the footfall at the Hyderabad airport has become 10 times the numbers recorded initially.
The Air Traffic Movement has also increased considerably from 40 daily ATMS in the first few weeks after the recommencement to over 260 domestic flights daily in November 2020. A total of 35,000 flights have been handled from the day of recommencement on November 23.
November saw a steady rise in both the number of passengers as well as the ATMs. In terms of destinations, the Hyderabad airport has regained 51 destinations out of the total of 55 destinations during pre-COVID-19 times. Three new destinations have been added to the list and now RGIA is also connected to Kozhikode, Imphal and Jagdalpur.
The Metro cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai remain the top 5 destinations post COVID-19. According to sources, initially, the airport observed unidirectional traffic due to pent-up demand, however, now the demand is gradually back to both-ways.
It would also be interesting to note that IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India are the top 3 airlines serving the domestic traffic from RGIA.