It’s been a little more than three months since India resumed scheduled international commercial passenger flights and the international air traffic at Indian airports has already reached 79% of the pre-pandemic levels, as per credit rating agency ICRA. The same agency expects this percentage to go up to 96 to 97 in the coming months and even cross the pre-covid volumes by the end of March 2024. This recovery is aided by a number of factors, including the reopening of several destinations across the world, relaxation of travel restrictions, as well as the surge in demand for air travel, which prompted Indian airports to expand their services so as to meet the rising demand. In this light, Bangalore Airport has recently announced new international routes (including the reinstated ones) to several destinations across the globe.
Kempegowda International Airport plans to connect Bengaluru to more foreign cities by the end of 2022. This includes the launch of the much-awaited BLR-SFO flights by United Airlines in the final quarter of this year. American Airlines also has plans to operate daily nonstop flights from Bengaluru to Seattle in the near future, but the date hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Apart from these, Bengaluru Airport will also restore connectivity to other international destinations such as Sydney (flights operated by Qantas Airways), Tel Aviv (by Air India), Amsterdam (by KLM), Tokyo Narita (by Japan Airlines), and Addis Ababa (by Ethiopian Airlines) among others. Australian national carrier Qantas will operate four weekly flights to Sydney starting from 14 September and Air India will run two flights per week to Tel Aviv from BLR Airport. From August, Japan Airlines will increase the flight frequency to three per week on the reinstated Bengaluru-Tokyo Narita route.
Currently, Bangalore Airport is connected to 23 international destinations and is ahead of other South Indian airports in terms of international connectivity. The airport officials also stated that the international flight operations, passenger movement as well as the Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) at BLR Airport have improved significantly in the last two months. According to a BIAL spokesperson, all airlines currently operating at the airport are likely to resume nonstop services to most of their international destinations by the second quarter of FY23.
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