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NEW DELHI : Indian airports catered to about 14.26 million passengers in August, a 35% increase sequentially, highlighting a sustained recovery in air travel demand in line with economic recovery and the progress on vaccinations.

The airports had catered to around 10.53 million passengers in July, according to data from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the state-run operator of most airports in the country.

The number of international passengers in August rose to 1.29 million from 0.80 million in July, while domestic traffic grew to 12.97 million from 9.73 million in that period.

 

Sarvesh Kumar Sharma/Mint
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Sarvesh Kumar Sharma/Mint

New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad were the top airports in terms of domestic traffic, while New Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi and Hyderabad were the busiest airports for international traffic during August, the data showed.

New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport saw more than 2.6 million domestic passengers in August, up from about 2 million in July. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport recorded about 1.4 million domestic passengers in August, up from about 1 million in the previous month.

Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport and Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport registered 1.18 million and 934,676 domestic passengers, respectively, in August, up from 878,823 and 687,636 passengers in the previous month.

Scheduled airlines in India were in August allowed to sell up to 72.5% of their pre-covid capacity on domestic flights. This has been increased to 85% in September.

In terms of international passenger traffic, the New Delhi airport recorded 398,722 passengers in August, up from 266,533 in July, while Mumbai recorded 184,787 passengers during the month, up from 101,203 in July.

Kochi and Hyderabad airports registered 155,322 and 87,645 international passengers respectively in August. These airports had reported 84,587 and 54,375 international passengers, respectively in July.

Scheduled international flights remain suspended at least till September-end because of the pandemic, which is likely to be extended. Only flights under bilateral air bubbles, which is a mechanism to resume flights between India and other nations with preconditions during the pandemic, special, and cargo flights are allowed to operate. India has bilateral air bubble agreements with 28 countries, including Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Maldives, the Netherlands, the UAE, the UK, and the US.

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