The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing travel restrictions have severely affected airports worldwide, and Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport was no exception, as its passenger count decreased drastically. However, the airport now reports that passenger count is slowly increasing. However, KIAL officials said that the increase in the number of passengers also means that there will be longer queues outside the airport. The wait time has also increased, as each passenger has to undergo thermal screening and sanitisation process before being allowed inside.
Prior to the pandemic and the lockdown, the daily passenger count was between 95,000 to 100,000 passengers per day. When travel restrictions were put in place in April and May, the ridership had stopped completely. In the last few months since domestic flights were allowed to operate, the daily passenger traffic is only 31.5% of what it used to be prior to the lockdown.
“Over the past six months, traffic has been severely impacted at all airports globally, and BLR Airport isn’t any different. In the pre-COVID-19 period, BLR Airport used to handle approximately 95,000-100,000 passengers daily. Over the past few months, as operations have recommenced and flights have increased, our daily passenger traffic has increased from approximately 10,000 daily passengers to about 30,000 daily passengers,” Kempegowda International Airport said in a statement.
Officials said that passengers have to arrive at least 2.5 hours ahead of schedule in order to go through the necessary checks. “The queues may seem longer because we have strict protocols to follow,” the official said.
In its statement, the airport, also said that it has recovered on the cargo shipment front. “We are hopeful that the traffic will slowly stabilise over the coming months as passenger confidence returns, and people begin to fly again. We strongly believe that flying is the safest mode of public travel and that our passengers will return. On the cargo front, we have steadily recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels at BLR Airport,” the statement added.