Indore airport added nearly 2.4 lakh flyers in 2014-15 as compared to the previous fiscal, data released by Airports Authority of India (AAI) revealed.
Helped by low fares on select routes, domestic passenger traffic from Indore airport shot up by 21 per cent to 13.5 lakhs in 2014-15 as compared to 11.1 lakhs in 2013-14.
The numbers are significant as passenger traffic growth from Indore airport was only 3% in 2013-14 as compared to 2012-13.
Interestingly, the number of flights grew by only 4.3% over the one year period because most airlines replaced the ATR aircrafts with the bigger Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 thereby increasing capacity.
Experts say that number of flights from Indore is expected to increase in the coming years.
“Being an upcoming IT hub, Indore needs better connectivity with major cities in south India such as Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru,” airport director Manoj Chansoria said.
At present, Jet Airways operates daily flights to Chennai and Bengaluru with one stop while Indigo operates daily flights to Hyderabad and Bengaluru from Indore.
While Global Investors Meet held in Indore in October 2014 also contributed to the high number of flyers, travel agents say that low fares have made air travel more affordable for the middle class.
“Most airlines slashed fares in August-September last year and this made air travel very affordable, especially in the Indore-Mumbai sector,” travel agent Dilip Ramani said.
“In some cases, airfares were lower than AC-II train fare when booked a month or so in advance,” he said.
However, efforts to launch international flights from Indore have failed to bear fruit, as the airlines are not convinced about regular passenger traffic.
“While we are ready for international operations and have conveyed to the airlines that additional facilities as needed will be made available, but the airlines are not convinced about the minimum passenger traffic,” Chansoria said.
While Emirates had conducted a feasibility survey in November last year, the airline has not made any move to launch international flights.
Airport 2014-15 2013-14
Indore 13.53 11.14
Bhopal 4.16 4.29
Figures (in lakhs)