Air passenger numbers across the state had plummeted in most of the 2020-21 fiscal due to the severe impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Airports across the country and state witnessed a steep decline in both in passenger numbers and aircraft movements compared to the last fiscal numbers.
The 3 main airports in Andhra Pradesh i.e. Vizag, Viajayawada and Tirupati witnessed a huge decline in their passenger traffic in fiscal 2020-21.
Tirupati Airport Q4 (19-20 vs 20-21)
(As of 24th March, 2021)
Vijayawada Airport Q4 (19-20 vs 20-21)
(As of 28th March, 2021)
Vizag Airport Q4 (19-20 vs 20-21)
(As of Mid March)
Vizag airport which handled close to 2.7 million (2,690,757) passengers in 2019-20 saw its numbers nosedived to 978605 as of Feb ’21.
Similarly Vijayawada airport had handled over 1.09 million (1098098) passengers in 2019-20 saw its passenger numbers tumble down to 376,593 as of Feb ’21.
These steep falls in numbers were the result of the nation-wide lockdown that took place in the early part of 2020-21 fiscal followed by regional lockdowns imposed by many states to arrest the spread of Covid-19.
‘Due to the restrictions in flight schedules amid the pandemic both aircraft movements and passenger traffic declined sharply’ said Vizag’s Airport Director Mr Raja Kishore.
Q4 Numbers have been better than the previous quarters of FY’21
— Mr. Raja Kishore
Airport Director, Vizag
It’s only in the July-August (2020) months that numbers started to marginally pick up and since then have been growing on a month-month basis.
Q4 Numbers Signal Rebound
However the last quarter of FY ’21, Q4 has been the best quarter for these 3 airports in this fiscal.
‘Q4 by far has been the best quarter for us in this fiscal’ said Mr Suresh, Airport Director of Tirupati Airport.
Q4 by far has been the best quarter for us in this fiscal
— Mr Suresh
Tirupati airport recorded 58184 passengers in Jan’21 and 60304 in Feb’21 which is a decline of 17% compared to the same period last fiscal while for the month of March the airport achieved numbers similar to the same period last year.
‘From the lows of May last year to the current figures we have done a tremendous job to bounce back’ said Tirupati’s airport director.
Similarly Vijayawada airport which averaged about 90,000 passengers in Jan & Feb of FY ’20 has for the same period this fiscal recorded 71532 passengers in Jan’21 and 61085 passengers in Feb ’21.
In fact for the month of March’21 Vijayawada airport surpassed its previous March’s numbers.
Q4 has been much better for us. We are reaching 70-80% of our pre-covid levels
— Mr GMS Rao
Airport Director, Vijayawada
‘Q4 has been much better for us compared to the previous quarters of fiscal 21. We are reaching 70-80% of our pre-covid levels’ stated Mr GMS Rao, Airport director, Vijayawada.
Going forward the sector is hoping to get back to pre-covid levels of passenger traffic by Q2 of the next fiscal i.e. if a second or third wave doesn’t hamper the recovery.