The Kempegowda International Airport (KIAB/BLR Airport) marked 100 days since the resumption of scheduled domestic air travel in India on Tuesday. Operations were permitted by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) starting May 25, following a two-month COVID-19-induced nationwide lockdown.
During the lockdown, the airport’s operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) worked relentlessly with the aviation community to put in place the best-in-class measures to create a safe, secure and seamless experience for passengers. The technologically-enabled parking-to-boarding contactless journey to minimise all physical contact was developed and rolled out in just two weeks. Together with the facial-recognition for self-boarding, various other sanitisation and hygiene measures ensured that passengers continued to have a seamless, touch-free airport experience.
In 100 days, BLR Airport has welcomed 1.4 million domestic passengers with 15,658 air traffic movements (ATMs). As compared to July 2020, there was 39 per cent growth in ATMs and over 47 per cent growth in passenger traffic in August 2020, indicating a positive trend with successive measures to unlock the country’s economy. With the relaxation of state regulations and the addition of capacity by airlines, the numbers are expected to increase further shortly.
Since the resumption of domestic operations, BLR Airport has reconnected with 49 of 58 domestic city pairs, achieving 84 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 network. Kolkata emerged as the top destination with 13 per cent of domestic passengers to and from BLR Airport, while Delhi 11 per cent and Patna 6 per cent were second and third, respectively.
Passenger movement was highest towards the country’s eastern and northeastern regions at 33.7 per cent, followed closely by the south at 30.9 per cent.
“Favourable policies by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Govt of India (GoI) and Govt of Karnataka (GoK) that supported the reinstatement, alignment between airlines, BIAL and other stakeholders like MoHFW and concessionaires, helped adapt to the new environment,” BIAL said in an official release.
The airport operator also stated that initiatives including the touch-free virtual information desks introduced recently were the outcome of passenger responses to the Voice of Pax survey conducted by it. The survey had revealed that 90 per cent considered airports safer than any other location and air travel safer than any other mode of transport.