Hyderabad, Aug 23 (IANS) The domestic passenger traffic at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here has not witnessed any growth during the current year and is concerned at the development, the airport operators said Thursday.
The world-class airport registered 13 percent growth in the passenger traffic and handled 8.6 million passengers during 2011-12.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates the airport, is hopeful that there would be no de-growth in the overall passenger traffic as the fall in the domestic traffic is expected to be compensated by the growth in international traffic. It hopes to end the year at almost same traffic level as last year
GHIAL CEO, Vikram Jaisinghani told reporters Thursday that they see some good growth in the international traffic in the second half with international carriers announcing new flights or adding frequencies on the existing routes.
Out of 8.6 million passengers the airport handled last year, 1.85 million were international passengers. The domestic international traffic ratio which was 75:25 last year, is likely to become 70:30 this year.
The international traffic this year is expected to be 7 to 8 percent against 4 percent last year.
"Traditionally domestic has been high growth area in last three years. The domestic growth has been a strong 16 to 18 percent last year. Now we are not seeing this growth this year. There are a variety of reasons like difficult times for aviation industry, high fuel prices resulting in high air fare," Jaisinghani said describing it as a pan-India phenomenon.
He said if the fuel price holds out at the current level, they should look at small growth but any further increase would have its corresponding effect
Jaisinghani said the airport had come long way since it was commissioned in 2008, establishing itself as one the top three airports in 5 to 15 million category in the world and became a regional hub for south India and central India.
Currently Hyderabad airport has five domestic airlines operating to 32 destinations and 11 international carriers operating to 16 destinations.
The number of international carriers will go up to 13 with Tiger Airways launching Hyderabad-Singapore flight from next month and Cathay Pacific announcing Hyderabad-Hong Kong flight from December this year.
Silk Air is upgrading its frequencies on Hyderabad-Singapore route from five a week to nine while Thai Smile, a branch of Thai Airways, will be introducing flight next week taking the Hyderabad-Bangkok flights from four to seven a week. This month Indigo started a Hyderabad-Dubai flight.
Jaisinghani said for the second consecutive year, cargo was witnessing flat growth and termed it a global phenomenon.
"There is no de-growth but there is no strong growth either," he added
The airport handled last year handled 86,000 tonnes of cargo, a growth of 15 percent. The growth during last few years has been 18 to 20 percent.