Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru plans to double international passenger traffic in the next five years, and triple it over the coming decade, according to Hari Marar, Managing Director & CEO of Bangalore International Airport Ltd.

Speaking to businessline, Marar said, “ Bengaluru airport will grow from 27 million to over 81 million within the next decade. If Covid hadn’t happened, we would have well been on that trajectory.”

Marar added, “Bengaluru airport has seen traffic of 33 million passengers, including 5 million in international passenger traffic. It took the airport a decade to get here.” However, he believes it can “pull close to 92 million passengers” in the next decade, with overall traffic tripling during that time. On the international side, he expectsthe numbers to grow from “five to 10 million in just the next five years” and potentially reach “close to 16 million by the end of the decade,” with plans underway to build the necessary capacity.

Looking at recent developments at the airport, Marar noted, “Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated terminal 2 of the airport. Meanwhile, work on terminal three has also begun. Alongside, the airport is refurbishing terminal one as well.”

Marar also highlighted the presence of international carriers at Bengaluru Airport, saying, “Currently, more than 20 international carriers operate out of Bengaluru. Recently, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic announced flights from the city.”

He added, “Many other airports in India have higher volumes, but that’s because of low yield, labour traffic between those cities and West Asia. Whereas Bengaluru’s is very high-quality traffic is growing at an exponential pace. Qantas flights to and from the city have a high yield, and as a result of which they’re expanding their footprint.”

Marar was optimistic that growth will come from US-based carriers. He said, “During Covid, two international carriers planned to start operations; however, that didn’t fructify. US carriers have shown faith in the Bengaluru market earlier, too. So I believe that they will definitely come back. These direct flights to the US are bound to happen. Whether it is by the same US carriers announced two years ago, or by the new hub airline we managed to strike a deal with.