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MIA sees rebound in traffic, pax movement to near pre-Covid levels

Aviation sector in India is on a rebound with all Covid protocols in place and Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) is no exception. One can gauge this from the fact that second busiest airport in Karnataka is on the verge of bettering pre-Covid passenger and air traffic movements (ATMs) handled in the current fiscal (FY 22-23) as against the passenger and ATMs it handled during the pre-pandemic year (FY 19-20).

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The airport from April 1 to October 31, 2019, had handled 11,04,585 passengers and the air traffic movements (ATMs) for this period stood at 8,985. Against this, MIA from April 1 to October 31, 2022, handled 10,51,229 passengers and 8,561 ATMs. This translates to 95.17% and 95.28% growth respectively in the above two important parameters that the aviation industry aims for while striving to enhance overall passenger experience.

This resurgence continued in the first seven months of current FY vis-à-vis corresponding period in FY 21-22 with MIA achieving 244.5% growth in passengers handled and 177% growth in ATMs respectively. MIA handled 4,29,929 passengers from April to October (FY 21-22) against 10,51,299 passengers from April to October (FY 22-23). During this period, MIA handled 8561 ATMs against 4814 in the corresponding 7 months of FY 21-22.

The airport domestically provides direct air connectivity to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Hubballi. Passengers have the choice to fly onward to destinations of their choice from these airports. Internationally, the airport serves as a gateway to Dubai, Dammam, Muscat, Kuwait, Doha, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi. With festival season travel on, MIA is busy handling the steady influx of passengers, safely.

According to rating agency Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (ICRA), the domestic passenger traffic for Indian carriers reported a healthy year-on-year (YoY) growth of 57.7% to 84.2 million in FY2022. The growth was largely aided by the  fast pace of Covid19 vaccination, lower incidence of fresh Covid infections nationally, coupled with the declining intensity of the infection.

On a YoY basis, in Q1 FY2023, the domestic passenger traffic was higher by 2.04 times at 32.5 million while it was short by ~7% compared to the pre-Covid level (Q1 FY2020).  With the back-to-normalcy in the operating environment driven by the waning effect of the pandemic, domestic passenger traffic is expected to witness YoY growth of 52-54% in FY2023, ICRA stated in its half yearly report of September 2022.

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