With airlines flying to more destinations across the country, the Bengaluru airport has been connecting to more non-metro cities, its operator said on Thursday.
"The share of non-metro traffic to and from Kempegowda airport increased 9 per cent to 64 per cent in 10 months (April 2020-January 2021) from 55 per cent in the corresponding period in 2019-20 amid the Covid pandemic," the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) said in a statement.
Leading private airline IndiGo recently started service to Assam's Jorhat and Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur while SpiceJet flies to Odisha's Jharsuguda.
"More non-metro cities like Agra, Dibrugarh in Assam, Durgapur in West Bengal, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and Rajkot in Gujarat are 5 new destinations the airlines will soon operate their service from Bengaluru," said the operator.
SpiceJet will fly to Rajkot and Durgapur, while IndiGo will operate to Dibrugarh from later this month and to Agra and Kurnool in March.
Domestic flight operations resumed partially on May 25 at the country's third-largest airport after the extended Covid-induced lockdown was lifted and frequency was increased gradually, as per the standard operating procedures of the Union Home Ministry and guidelines of the Union Health Ministry to contain the virus spread.
"With average 270 flights daily, about 30,000 passengers were flown to non-metro cities from the city airport in January," said the consortium's operator.
Private airlines and state-run Air India were operating to 58 cities across the country before the pandemic forced the government to suspend all domestic flights from March 23 to May 25.
Airlines began operating services from Bengaluru to Amritsar, Darbhanga in Bihar, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Nashik in Maharashtra and Silchar in Assam during fiscal 2020-21.
The increasing flights to regional and non-metro routes is in line with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry's focus on improving regional connectivity in the country.
"The improved regional connectivity has led to a 3-fold increase in transfer passengers, strengthening the city airport's position as the new gateway," said the statement.
In calendar year 2019, a record 33.65 million passengers transited from the airport at Devanahalli, registering 4 per cent annual growth from 32.33 million in 2018.