Air passenger traffic from Indore has registered a growth of 18.4% in April-November 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013. The growth is nearly double that of the average growth of 9.9% for 15 domestic airports, according to the latest data by Airports Authority of India (AAI).
However, passenger traffic from Bhopal, another major airport of the state, showed a negative growth of 19.9% for the same period. Around 8.57 lakh people travelled by air from Indore in April-November 2014 as compared to 7.24 lakh during the same period in 2013. The freight traffic from Indore airport has also jumped 50.4% during the same period.
Experts have attributed the spike in the number of air travelers to the Global Investors Summit held in the city in October. According to the data, air passenger traffic from Indore grew by more than 36% in October 2014 as compared to October 2013.
Indore airport director Manoj Chansoria said that growth figures were quite good but a comparative study needs to be done before getting down to any conclusion.
"We will have to see whether the growth is due to seasonal factors or more sustained reasons," he said. Travel operators say that falling airfares coupled with poor rail connectivity have also played a role in the increase.
"With increase in disposable incomes, people don't mind shelling out a few thousands extra and get a direct flight," travel agent Dilip Ramani said. The number of people going for vacations and business purposes are also on the rise and they too prefer flights to save time. Indore is now connected by air to all the major cities of the country including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Benguluru, Hyderabad, and Pune.