The Mumbai airport registered the highest passenger traffic growth of 97% year-on-year in the country as 2 crore domestic and international flyers passed through it between April 2021 and March 2022.
The airport was the worst performer among major Indian airports in FY2021, and therefore on rebound managed to register a higher quantum of year-on-year percentage growth in FY2022.
In rankings, Bengaluru and Mumbai airports were neck and neck in 2020-21, handling 1.09 crore and 1.10 crore flyers, respectively. But the gap between India’s second and third busiest airports widened the following year, with Bengaluru handling only 1.6 crore passengers against the 2.2 crore handled by Mumbai.
India’s top three airports — Delhi (No.1 by a mile), Mumbai and Bengaluru — handled 7.7 crore domestic and international flyers in FY22, almost half of the 14.5 crore that passed through in 2019-20, the last pre-Covid year.
“FY22 saw two Covid waves. Domestic passenger traffic started picking up after September last year, only to fall again in January with the third wave. We expect international traffic to short and medium-haul destinations to recover this year,” said an airline official.
The biggest swing among the three has been in Mumbai, which registered a drop of 76% in passenger volumes in 2020-21. The other two recorded 66% decline each. The next year, Mumbai bounced back big time, recording over 2 crore flyers and a 97% growth. In comparison, Delhi airport handled 3.9 crore passengers in 2021-22, notching up a growth of 74%, while Bengaluru’s flyer load jumped 49%.
When all airports were taken into account, India’s domestic passenger traffic registered a year-on-year growth of 58.5% in 2021-22.