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Foreign travellers’ footfall at BPIA in Odisha capital on rise

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 9:

Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), which acts as a feeder airport operating on hub and spoke model, in Odisha capital has witnessed an increase in number of passengers travelling to/from international destinations.

While international flight services from the city airport are yet to start even after over two years from its announcement, the figures revealed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) are something to cheer about. With the services to Kuala Lumpur offered by Air Asia all set to take off from April 26, the authorities are upbeat over the report.

As per the report published by AAI, the number of International passengers flying to and from BPIA in Bhubaneswar has jumped 92.8% placing the airport at third place in passenger traffic trailing by Srinagar International Airport at second place with 94.4% rise and Imphal International Airport on top with 101.3% spike in the financial year 2016-17.

Besides, BPIA has also witnessed an increase in domestic passenger traffic at 22.8% surpassing domestic passenger traffic at airports in Kolkata, Goa, Varanasi, Chennai, Ahmadabad and Srinagar in the said financial year.

According to the AAI report, a total of 13, 870 international passengers had flown to and from BPIA between April and February in 2015-16 fiscal, an increase to 26, 744 in 2016-17 financial year.

The rise of 12,474 international passengers has set a record for the airport and the 92.8% rise in traffic is an impressive figure, said an airport official.

While 2251 passengers had flown in January 2016, it rose to 2756 during the corresponding period in 2017. The passenger footfall also reported a rise in February 2017 at 2408, which was 2181 as compared to the figures in 2016, the report added.

Most of the passengers have flown to south-east Asian countries, Dubai and Kuwait, the report mentioned.

In the domestic passenger traffic segment, it too registered an impressive growth. The domestic passengers statistics saw a 22.8% rise, which was 16,97,648 in 2015-16 financial year. The numbers rose to 20,85,524 in 2016-17.

While 1,80,407 passengers had flown in January 2016, it rose to 2,52,016 in January 2017 and from 1,69,532 to 2,09,061 in February.

The rise in passenger traffic, cargo transportation and number of flights is a good sign for BPIA. The report will help in attracting foreign tourist to the state and create an interest among carriers to launch international flights from here, said R. Mahalingam, Director, BPIA.

Notably, a separate report has been published for Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin and Nagpur airports as they are running on PPP mode.