Bengaluru airport becomes first metro airport in India to record positive growth in cargo volumes

The cargo processed last month was 32,449 MT, a growth of0.3 per cent, against the same period last year, according an airport statement on Wednesday.

Bengaluru: Air cargo volumes from Bengaluru have picked up impressively after a prolonged slump due to Covid-19 pandemic. International cargo volumes are leading the recovery at the city's international airport.

The Kempe Gowda international airport, operated by the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) has become the first metro airport in India to record growth in freight in September 2020, compared to the same period last year, according to a BIAL press release.

Improved connectivity and increase in Passenger to Cargo (P2C) aircraft, combined with proactive measures by the BIAL to enable seamless processing have pushed cargo volumes into positive territory, the release said.


In the first first two quarters of the financial year 2020-21, the cargo terminals at the airport processed 131,603 metric tonnes of freight. The cargo processed in September was 32,449 MT, a growth of +0.3%, against the same period last year. September 2020 witnessed a +4.5% growth in international cargo, of which export cargo grew by +7.6%. Meanwhile, domestic cargo is showing a slower recovery at -5.2% lower than the same period in the previous year, the release added.

Perishable cargo has been one of the major growth drivers. The Airport accounted for highest exports of perishables among Indian Airports till June 2020. It also processed 180,745 kgs of pomegranate from April to August 2020, to emerge as the leading airport for pomegranate exports from India. The other segments driving growth are readymade garments, engineering goods, pharma and medical supplies.

The introduction of our road feeder service – LOGI Connect – to link cities like Tirupur, Coimbatore, Ambur, Salem, Erode, Hyderabad and Chennai further augmented growth, pushing the airport’s all-India market share of air cargo from 11% to 14%, the release said.
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Before the pandemic, around 60% of domestic and international freight was being carried in belly space of passenger aircraft and the remainder in freighters. With the reduction in passenger flights due to restrictions, several airlines – both domestic and international – converted P2C aircraft , enabling the availability of a larger amount of cargo capacity. As a result, the airport saw the growth of cargo aircraft movements by 139% against the previous year.

Bengaluru airport recovers 88% of pre-COVID-19 routes

The international airport in Bengaluru has reconnected 51 domestic destinations, achieving 88% connectivity of the pre-COVID-19 routes. In addition, the Centre's Vande Bharat Mission and Air Bubble programmes have enabled the airport to connect with 22 international destinations. With the gradual easing of restrictions, Air Traffic Movements have witnessed an encouraging trend, recovering to 53% of the previous year's flight movements, following successive measures to unlock India’s economy, the release said.
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