Passenger handling declines at Mangaluru airport in 2019-20

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on August 13, 2020

Mangaluru international airport - File picture   -  HS MANJUNATH

After witnessing a steady growth for several years, Mangaluru International Airport saw a decline in passenger handling during 2019-20. The airport handled 1.87 million passengers in 2019-20 as against 2.24 million passengers in 2018-19.

In 2010-11, it had handled around 0.84 million passengers.

Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), which was in the forefront seeking international status for Mangaluru airport a decade ago, feels that the factors such as high VAT on aviation turbine fuel in Mangaluru vis-a-vis the neighbouring Kannur airport, and non-filling of vacant slots left by Jet Airways affected the passenger handling at Mangaluru airport.


Isaac Vas, President of KCCI, told BusinessLine that the Kerala government has given exemption on VAT for aviation fuel at Kannur airport. The Karnataka government charges 28 per cent VAT on aviation fuel. This indirectly increases the usage charges for the passengers and is a major deterrent to travel via Mangaluru airport for people living in between the two cities, he said.


(Located around 165-km from Mangaluru, Kannur is the next nearest airport to Mangaluru. Prior to the opening of Kannur airport, many passengers from northern Kerala were using Mangaluru airport for their journey to Gulf countries.)

Apart from this, many of the slots left vacant by the now defunct Jet Airways have not been filled by other airlines for various reasons of their own.

Stating that there have been limited flights in and out of Mangaluru to international destinations, Vas said no newer airlines has been given landing rights due to the non-availability of bilateral landing rights.

Published on August 13, 2020

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