Passenger footfall during the month of February 2023 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) crossed the 4 million-mark. This was a clear win over the psychological barrier, the pre-Covid all time high 3.9 million in February 2020 at CSMIA.
And now, taking the count further, Mumbai Airport has registered the highest passenger traffic growth among all metros in the country for the second straight year. Data shared by the Airports Authority of India shows that in the 2022-2023 fiscal, the year-on-year growth in Mumbai’s international and domestic passenger traffic combined stood at 102%. Bengaluru comes a close second with a 96% traffic growth, followed by Chennai at 95%, Hyderabad at 69% and Delhi at 66%.
CSMIA started 2023 on an upbeat note catering to 4.5 million passengers in January, followed by 4 million passengers on 24,292 flights – which was 57 per cent higher compared with the February 2022 flight movements handled.
“CSMIA has surpassed the pre-Covid level passenger mark, implying a robust demand for air travel through Mumbai to national and international sectors. The growth is led by increasing demand for domestic leisure and other segments of travel in the country,” shared a media relations official from the AAI.
Of the overall passenger movement, CSMIA recorded 75 per cent domestic traffic and the rest 25 percent shared by international travellers.
On February 12, the domestic air passenger traffic touched 437,800 passengers on 2,935 flights departing India on a single day across India, as per the Civil Aviation Ministry data.
Dubai, London and Abu Dhabi remain the stop spots as three international destinations with the highest passenger traffic through Mumbai, while New Delhi, Bengaluru and Goa retain their spots as the top three preferred domestic destinations.
However, cautioning against a complacent sit-back, AAI authorities also reasoned that Mumbai’s growth owes to the “unpredictable patterns of post-Covid revenge travel.”
Between 2015-2018, Mumbai airport was struggling with infra constraints and recorded single digit growth. In the coming years, airports with parallel runways such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata are poised to offer stiff competition to the single runway CSMIA. In such a scenario, unless an upgrade takes place, Mumbai airport may once again fall back in passenger traffic, given that it operates out of a “single saturated runway.”
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