BLR Airport tops in cargo handling in CY 2022

BLR Airport recorded cargo volumes in CY 2022 as 412,668 MT, highest tonnage handled since Airport Opening Day (AOD). For the second consecutive year, it stood as the top airport for perishables in India and is identified as the third busiest one processing global cargo, says Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy & Development Officer, BIAL.

CT Bureau

The Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB or BLR Airport) recorded passenger numbers recovery of 82 per cent since CY 2019 (pre-COVID year), with a total of 27.50 million passengers travelling through BLR Airport in CY 2022. This included 85 per cent recovery in the domestic sector and 65 per cent recovery in the global sector.  Reasons, including relaunching of key routes and introduction of new routes connecting leading business hubs and travel destinations contributed to the rapid recovery. About 24.36 million domestic passengers and 3.14 million global passengers travelled through BLR Airport. The month of December recorded significant numbers.

Cargo growth

BLR Airport is South India’s sole airport and India’s second airport to have freighters of three of the world’s largest express players namely, UPS, DHL, and FedEx. BLR Cargo scripted success for the second year in a row. The BLR Airport stood as the top airport for carrying perishables in India and is now identified as the third busiest airport processing international cargo, says Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy & Development

Officer, Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL).

With 14 domestic and foreign cargo carriers operating on 41 direct routes, BLR Cargo consolidated BLR Airport’s place among top Indian cargo airports.  Cargo volumes in CY 2022 were 412,668 MT, the highest tonnage handled since Airport Opening Day (AOD). The highest import tonnage was recorded in July. Domestic cargo recorded a rise of 8 per cent in CY 2022. The highest cargo recorded in a single day was 1,612 MT on 29 September 2022.

Year-end boost

Around 3.13 million passengers travelled in December 2022 (of which 2.74 million were domestic passengers)—surpassing the pre-COVID record of 3.06 million passengers in December 2019. On December 23, the BLR Airport recorded the highest number of passengers for CY 2022 at 1,07,825 pax. There was 98 per cent recovery in air transport movements (ATMs) vis-à-vis pre-COVID numbers, domestic ATMs posted a 100 per cent recovery.

Major expansion

After COVID, most airlines resumed their operations fully, connecting to increased number of destinations in 2022. The BLR Airport is now connected to 75 destinations across India, and an increase of 16 destinations, compared to pre-COVID. Akasa Airlines’ growth has been one of the success stories of 2022, basing a large part of their fleet at BLR Airport and growing to 30 daily departures to 11 destinations within six months of their commencement. Post-resumption of global flights in March 2022, the introduction of Bengaluru and Sydney direct flight (four weekly flights) by Qantas Airways made it the first link to Australia from South India. This was followed by Emirates launching its A380 service to Dubai, citing more demand from BLR and south India. With Air India’s reinstation of its thrice-weekly Bengaluru-San Francisco route in December 2022, BLR Airport became the first airport in the south and central India to get direct link to North America.

Transfer hub

Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi, and Hyderabad were the top domestic routes in CY 2022. They contributed 40 per cent to domestic traffic. Dubai, Male, Singapore, Doha, and Abu Dhabi were the top global routes contributing 47 per cent to international traffic. “COVID years were challenging for us, but we were encouraged by the recovery in passenger traffic. CY2022 marks a milestone for us as we have increased our operational capacity with inauguration of new T2 at the BLR Airport. We believe that with the operationalization of T2, we will be better poised to be the natural gateway to south and central India,” he said.