Mangaluru: The aviation sector in India is on a rebound with all Covid protocols in place and Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) is no exception. One can gauge this from the fact that the second busiest airport in Karnataka is on the verge of bettering pre-Covid passenger and air traffic movement (ATMs) handled in the current fiscal (FY 22-23) as against the passenger and ATMs it handled during the pre-pandemic year (FY 19-20).
The airport from April 1 to October 31, 2019, handled 11,04,585 passengers and the air traffic movements (ATMs) for this period stood at 8,985. Against this, MIA from April 1 to October 31, 2022, handled 10,51,229 passengers and 8,561 ATMs. This is 95.17% and 95.28% achievement of pre-Covid levels in the two important parameters that the aviation industry aims for while striving to enhance the overall passenger experience.
This resurgence continued in the first seven months of the current FY vis-à-vis the corresponding period in FY 21-22. MIA handled 10,51,299 passengers (Apr-Oct) of FY 22-23 achieving a 144.51% growth against the 4,29,929 passengers it handled in the same period in FY 21-22. Likewise, MIA handled 8561 ATMs (April-Oct) of the current FY, registering a 77.83% growth as against the 4814 movements handled in the same period of FY 21-22.
The airport domestically provides direct air connectivity to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Hubballi. Passengers have the choice to fly onward to destinations of their choice from these airports. Internationally, the airport serves as a gateway to Dubai, Dammam, Muscat, Kuwait, Doha, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi. With festival season travelling on, MIA is busy handling the steady influx of passengers, safely.
According to rating agency Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (ICRA), the domestic passenger traffic for Indian carriers reported a healthy year-on-year (YoY) growth of 57.7% to 84.2 million in FY2022. The growth was largely aided by the fast pace of Covid19 vaccination, and the lower incidence of fresh Covid infections nationally, coupled with the declining intensity of the infection.
On a YoY basis, in Q1 FY2023, the domestic passenger traffic was higher by 2.04 times at 32.5 million while it was short by ~7% compared to the pre-Covid level (Q1 FY2020). With the back-to-normalcy in the operating environment driven by the waning effect of the pandemic, domestic passenger traffic is expected to witness YoY growth of 52-54% in FY2023, ICRA stated in its half-yearly report of September 2022.
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