BLR Airport Emerges as the Transfer Hub for South India
Hyderabad: The Indian aviation sector has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. It has more than doubled from around 169 million in FY 2013-14 to around 341 million in 2019-20, a growth of over 10% per annum.
In the past two decades, a steady influx of low-fare carriers, superior regional connectivity to far-flung cities and rise in regional air travel have transformed the face of Indian aviation, making it the third largest domestic aviation market in the world.
Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport), the third busiest Airport in India, is making significant contributions to India’s aviation growth story by facilitating robust connectivity to non-metro cities, providing opportunities to people to fly as well as drive regional economic growth. In the process, BLR Airport has emerged as the preferred transfer hub for South India.
Currently, BLR Airport serves 74 domestic destinations (in CY 2021)—the highest ever since airport opening date, as compared to 54 routes during pre-COVID and is also the highest amongst South Indian Airports. These additions have mainly been to non-metro destinations, and as a result, flights to non-metro routes have shown a considerable increase from 58% (pre-COVID) to 63% in CY 2021. Moreover, between Q1 and Q4 of 2021, traffic on non-metro routes increased by 27%, signifying the strong demand.
During the Calendar Year 2021, nearly 19% of traffic at BLR Airport comprised of transfer passengers as against ~10% pre-COVID. The major airports contributing to high volumes of transfer passengers at BLR Airport are Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad and Goa.
Apart from the increase in non-metro connectivity, the geographical positioning of Bengaluru and growing economy of the State of Karnataka has helped in positioning BLR as the major gateway in South and Central India. BLR Airport offers a wide catchment area of 23 cities within a convenient flying time of 75 mins. This, coupled with growth in non-metro connectivity, has helped in building the transfer traffic market at BLR Airport. The transfer traffic flow has helped in strengthening loads on other domestic and international routes as well. Moreover, with this catchment area serving a population of ~256 million people (i.e., 1/5th of India), BLR Airport is leading the growth story of the region.
This has accentuated BLR Airport as a potential hub for future ultra-long-haul routes.
To create an exceptional travel experience for transit passengers, BLR Airport offers world-class infrastructure and facilities. Currently, BLR Airport has a convenient and simplified single-terminal transfer experience. Also, passengers can take advantage of the wide array of shopping, dining and unwinding options at the Airport, including excellent service and the best of hospitality at the newly revamped lounges and Transit Hotel during their stopover. In addition, to cater to the growing transfer numbers BLR Airport has further augmented two of its existing transfer zones by creating an additional lane for hassle-free movement and smooth transfer of passengers. With the opening of Terminal 2, we expect to add to our transfer experience and look forward to developing BLR Airport as the New Gateway to India.