Passenger traffic has increased significantly at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), with the airport handling 5.23 million passengers in May, according to data from the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Attendance is near that of May 2019, when the airport handled 5.28 million passengers, before Covid-19 affected flight operations worldwide.
Data shows that there has been a steady increase in monthly passenger footfall and flight operations, after pandemic restrictions eased significantly in October 2021. Since then, the airport has seen a gradual increase in the number of flights and passenger numbers. Ridership increased to 3.7 million passengers in February 2022 and around 5.07 million in March, before dropping slightly to 4.92 million passengers in April, according to IAA data. Ridership of 5.23 million passengers in May is the highest on record, IAA officials said.
By comparison, in 2019, Delhi airport handled 5.37 million passengers in February, 5.48 million in March, 4.96 million in April and 5.28 million in May, the IAA said.
In terms of total aircraft movements, both domestic and international, there has been an increase of around 37% since February – from 26,176 to 36,072 in May. This is actually slightly higher than the 36,055 movements recorded by the airport in May 2019.
“Following the resumption of flight operations at all three terminals and a gradual resumption of the global Covid-19 lockdown, flight movements and passenger footfall have shown a steady increase and we are now close to pre-Covid levels,” said an airport official, on condition of anonymity.
Delhi airport handled 4.18 million domestic passengers in May, while the number of international passengers stood at 1.05 million passengers. In February, the airport handled 3.06 million domestic passengers and 0.72 million international passengers.
Covid-19 protocols are still in place at the airport and include functional Covid testing facilities, temperature screening, disinfection and social distancing. Passengers are still required to wear masks on board the aircraft.
Commercial operations for domestic and international flights have been suspended from March 24, 2020, in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, Terminal 3 was the first to reopen, on May 25, 2020, with Terminal 2 opening in a calibrated manner from July 22, 2021. Terminal 1 was the last to reopen, with flights resuming from there from from October 31, 2021.
In February 2022, the newly refurbished Terminal-1 was made operational for the public, with domestic passengers now exiting from the new arrivals section of T-1, instead of the old T-1(C) building.