Following the severe impact, the Covid-19 pandemic has had on air travel, passenger traffic seems to be slowly getting back.
From just 26 scheduled flights that were operated in April’20, Visakhapatnam airport operated over 619 flights for the month of August 2020.
Passengers seem to be slowly regaining their confidence in venturing out.
As per the data provided by Andhra Pradesh Air Travellers Association, Vizag airport handled a total of 60839 passengers for the month of August’20 which is a significant increase when compared to just 24 passengers it handled in April’20 when the lockdown was in force.
It was from June’20 that passenger traffic started to pick up wherein Vizag airport handled 39565 passengers in June’20 and 42095 passengers in July’20.
“Visakhapatnam airport is bouncing back phenomenally. In the next 6 months you shall see considerable growth and if all goes as per planned, we should cross the 1 million passenger mark in this fiscal.”
— Visakhapatnam Airport director, Mr Raja Kishore.
These numbers were higher when compared to the other airports in the state. For instance, in the month of August Vijayawada airport handled 30160 passengers followed by 18108 by Tirupati and 11502 by Rajahmundry.
In terms of total aircraft movements too Vizag was the highest wherein it saw over 619 flights in August’20 followed by Vijayawada at 507, Rajahmundry at 528 and Tirupati at 278.
‘Visakhapatnam airport is bouncing back phenomenally. In the next 6 months you shall see considerable growth and if all goes as per planned, we should cross the 1 million passenger mark in this fiscal’ said Vizag’s Airport director, Mr Raja Kishore speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan.
Concurred Mr DS Varma ‘The quick recovery in passenger traffic at the Vizag airport shows signs of an economic revival. This is a good indicator’ said the Vice president of AP Air Travellers Association.
Currently there are 16 flights that are being operated to and from Vizag connecting major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
“The quick recovery in passenger traffic at the Vizag airport shows signs of an economic revival. This is a good indicator.”
— Vice president of AP Air Travellers Association, Mr DS Varma
Air Cargo volumes too seem to be inching back as only Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada airport handled air freight in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Vizag’s airport cargo terminal handled 119 metric tonnes of cargo in April’20 which rose to 318 metric tonnes in July’20 and then dropped to 244 MT in August’20 while for September it handled 236 MT. Vijayawada airport on the other hand handled 109 tonnes of cargo in August’20.
Some of the major commodities handled at Vizag’s airport consist of perishables followed by valuable cargo, general cargo and electronics and engineering goods.
SpiceJet had launched its dedicated freighter aircraft SpiceXpress in February this year with the aim of transporting marine products under the Krishi Udan scheme. SpiceJet however has temporarily stopped its freighter aircraft which the airport director informed shall soon start back once the new schedule is out.