TIRUPATI: The domestic passenger traffic through the Tirupati international airport crossed the pre-Covid levels as 4.54 lakh passengers used the airport in the first half (April-September) of 2022-23 financial year, according to the data released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Though the traffic has been on the rise since the easing of COVID restrictions, it continued to remain below the peak pre-pandemic level. However, in the first half of the 2022-23 fiscal, the Tirupati airport handled 4,54,640 passengers against 4,39,362 during the same period in the 2019-20 fiscal.
Despite a 5.87 per cent decline in the aircraft movements, the passenger movements through the pilgrim city’s airport is up by 3.47 per cent. As per the AAI data, aircraft movements in the first half of 2022-23 fiscal were 5,179 against 5,502 during the same corresponding period three years back.
During the first half of 2020-21 and 2021-22, the domestic passenger footfall was only 59,216 and 2,14,400, respectively, while the aircraft movements were 1,002 and 3,064, respectively.
In September-2022, the average daily air traffic stood at 2,121, while the volume of passengers travelled through the airport was 1.30 percent higher compared to the same month in 2019. Last month, the airlines flew 63,631 passengers in 774 aircrafts on local routes as against 62,812 in 760 flights in the corresponding month of 2019-20.
Sequentially, the percentage of fall in passenger traffic and aircraft movements in September was 19.35% and 9%, respectively, from 78,902 and 850 in August, which according to aviation experts was mainly due to the seasonality factors and higher fares as well. Around 6MT of domestic freight was carried last month, against 8MT in August. In all, around 69MT of freight was transported to local destinations in the first half of 2022-23 fiscal....