An airfare war, boosted by summer holidays, helped the passenger traffic at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport grow by 10-15% as compared to last year.
In 2013-14, the Delhi airport handled a record 36.88 million passengers. This was the highest ever passenger traffic handled by any airport in the country.
Airport officials said that even small airports such as Dehradun, Raipur, Ranchi, Surat and Varanasi witnessed an increase in passenger of 40% to 300% due to the low fares offered by various domestic airlines.
“For some destinations, the airfare was on a par to a second AC ticket of Indian Railways. In May this year, domestic airlines ferried 23.88 lakh passengers against 22.29 lakh in 2013 and 22.62 lakh in 2012. Similarly, in June, domestic airlines carried 23.83 lakh passengers against 20.77 lakh in June 2013 and 22.10 lakh in June 2012,” said an airport official.
During last year’s summer vacations, the domestic airlines had witnessed a dip in air travellers. This year, however, the airlines saw an increase of 7.1% in May and 14.8% in June in its ridership. There are 55 airlines operating from Delhi airport, connecting 61 international and 48 domestic destinations. In 2013-14, the airport handled 12.68 million international and 24.19 domestic passengers.
“Passengers clearly prefer to fly low cost airlines to go to smaller airports. Terminal 1D of Delhi airport, which caters to three low cost airlines - Go Air, Indigo and Spicejet - is now undergoing an expansion to meet the growing demand. During summer vacations, the passenger rush usually reaches its peak,” the official said.
Delhi airport has an annual passenger capacity of over 60 million, including its Terminal-3, which alone can handle 34 million passengers.
The airport handles almost one lakh passengers every day with almost 850 arrivals/departures daily.