Friday, July 15, 2016

Delhi Airport crosses 50 million passenger mark

by Soumen Mukherjee

Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, the busiest airport in South Asia, has crossed 50 million passenger mark in the last 12 months ending May 2016. The airport which had handled over 48 million passengers in FY2015 is expected to cross 55 million annual passengers milestone in FY2017. In fact going by the growth trend, 55 million figure can even be achieved in CY2016 itself. It had recorded more than 20% MoM passenger growth in eight of the last 12 months and in all five months of 2016 so far.

Month
Int’l pax
MoM
Dom pax
MoM
Total
MoM
Jan-16
1,317,900
6.6%
2,977,333
28.7%
4,295,233
21.0%
Feb-16
1,203,662
6.8%
3,040,618
30.4%
4,244,280
23.0%
Mar-16
1,319,428
8.8%
3,270,267
32.6%
4,589,695
24.7%
Apr-16
1,171,259
7.8%
3,271,591
26.2%
4,442,850
20.8%
May-16
1,185,394
8.8%
3,567,065
25.6%
4,752,459
21.0%

It had first achieved three million monthly domestic passengers in December 2015 and within just five months, it crossed 3.5 million domestic passengers in May 2016. Similarly, total monthly passengers cross four million mark for the first time in November 2015 and in May 2016, the airport processed 4.75 million passengers, its lifetime high monthly passenger volume. And now Delhi Airport crossing 5 million monthly passengers mark is just a matter of time. The target most likely to be achieved during the winter peak season (Oct-Dec 2016). Currently Delhi Airport is experiencing a robust growth in its domestic passengers volume. In fact, domestic passenger volume has increased at 28.5% rate (YoY) in the first five months of 2016. With Mumbai Airport facing runway issues and ATC congestion, Delhi, the country's prime metro airport, has benefited the most from the above 20% growth in the domestic sector sector in India. By looking at the huge aircraft order by the domestic airlines, the growth is likely to maintain if the infrastructure challenges are handled in time.

CY16 Domestic & International pax at DEL
The international passenger volume of Delhi Airport is much less compared to other airports of its size. In the first five months of CY2016, the share of International passenger is less than a third (28%) of the total passenger figure. Which is lower than even its CY2015 level of 30%. And the YoY growth rate of passengers in international sector is still in the single digit while the domestic sector pax is growing at close to 30% rate. Delhi needs to focus on international growth in order to achieve its hub aspiration. Lack of a strong home carrier is a major challenge. Air India is doing its bits by launching new long-haul destinations like San Francisco (Dec-15), Vienna (Apr-16) but to little to fuel any substantial growth of Delhi hub. Jet Airways seems contained with developing a niche in Gulf and Southeast Asia and new long-haul routes from Delhi by Jet is very unlikely. GoAir which recently became eligible to fly with the arrival of their 20th aircraft, is mulling some unconventional routes (for Indian carriers) in Central Asia and even Eastern Europe from Delhi but things are unlikely to materialise before mid-2017. IndiGo and SpiceJet not showing much movement on the international front though IndiGo is expected to resume Delhi-Bangkok flight with its Airbus A320neo later this year. As of today, Vistara's international expansion is not likely to commence before mid-2018. Among the prospective international service from Delhi Airport are Air India's Madrid flight (Copanhagen likely too) by December and EVA Air's Taiwan service later this year. While Air Canada is scheduled to launch Delhi-Vancouver seasonal service (October'16-April'17) and Korean Air is scheduled to launch Delhi-Seoul-Incheon flight in December

International Ranking 
Delhi Airport became the 25th busiest airport globally in 2015 by rising six position in the ranking. It is expected to further improve its ranking in 2016 and if the current growth trend maintains, most likely it will make in to the top 20 list. In May 2016, Delhi's monthly passenger numbers are very close to that of Singapore Changi Airport while it crossed Seoul Incheon Airport and Madrid (most likely Kuala Lumpur too). All four were ahead of Delhi in the full-year ranking of 2015.

3 comments:

  1. Apart from EVA Air and Korean Air, Biman Bangladesh, Himalaya Airlines and Air Costa are also planning to add flights to Delhi.

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  2. Better transit schedules like Europe-Delhi-Bangkok have been very successful. But AirIndia do noy want to learn from their own success and make other schedules right, especially Europe-Delhi-Hongkong, Europe-Delhi-Singapore, Europe-Delhi-Sydney/Melbourne in two way transit. That would increase the international pax to MoM 15% atleast.

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  3. Don't think the international numbers will grow rapidly in the next couple of years. However, with the current trend in domestic sector and no substitute in sight for the busy Mumbai Airport, I guess we can expect Delhi and even Bangalore to break more records soon.

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