Mangaluru: Mangaluru International Airport handled the highest number of passengers – domestic and international for the current fiscal in July. The airport handled 1,62,667 passengers in July, and this included 1,07,455 domestic and 55,212 international passengers. This is the second-highest number of passengers that the airport has handled since the commercial operation date (COD) of October 31, 2020. The airport in May 2022 had handled 1,67,180 passengers, which is the highest since COD.
The airport in the first four months of FY 2023-24 handled 24037 more passengers at 6,20,553 passengers compared to 5,96,516 passengers it handled in the corresponding period in the previous fiscal. This includes 1,40,633 passengers in April (1,460,80 passengers in April 2022), 1,61,857 in May (1,67,180), 1,55,396 in June (1,39,331) and 1,62,667 in July (1,43,925). The buoyancy in passenger movement in July 2023 during monsoon, has helped boost numbers, the airport spokesperson said.
The airport at present provides direct domestic connectivity to Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune and through connectivity to Ranchi with IndiGo and Air India operating exclusively in Mumbai. On the international front, the airport provides direct connection to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, and Muscat and one through flight to Bahrain via Kannur. Air India Express has a near monopoly on flights to international destinations.
The airport is coordinating with Indian carriers to introduce new international flights to Jeddah and Sharjah with additional frequency planned for Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait. Bilateral limitations to overseas destinations have affected the move by Indian carriers to introduce additional flights and the airport has been no exception to this trend. Despite this, the airport is making all-out efforts to woo airlines so that available slots are used in an optimal manner and their international and domestic reach, extends further.
Domestic cargo picks up:
The airport has registered an uptick in the handling of domestic cargo ever since the integrated cargo terminal (ICT) became operational on May 1, 2023. The airport handled 246 tonnes of assorted cargo in May, and this increased to 332 tonnes in June and 376 tonnes in July. Most of the cargo handled at ICT is outbound with 229 tonnes handled in May, 306 tonnes in June and 354 tonnes in July respectively. The inbound cargo largely comprises e-commerce items, stationery, and post office mail.