Bengaluru airport record positive growth in cargo volumes
Cargo volumes at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BIAL) are gathering momentum with international cargo leading the recovery, following a prolonged slump due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bengaluru: Cargo volumes at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BIAL) are gathering momentum with international cargo leading the recovery, following a prolonged slump due to the coronavirus pandemic. This resurgence in cargo movement powered the Bengaluru airport to become the first metro airport in India to record growth in freight in September 2020, compared to the same period last year.
Improved connectivity and increase in passenger to cargo (P2C) aircraft, combined with proactive measures by the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) to enable seamless processing have pushed cargo volumes into positive territory.
According to the reports, in the first two quarters of FY2020-21, between April and September, the Bengaluru airport cargo terminals processed 1,31,603 MT of freight. The cargo processed in September was 32,449 MT, a growth of +0.3%, against the same period last year. September 2020 witnessed a +4.5% growth in international cargo, of which export cargo grew by +7.6%. Meanwhile, domestic cargo is showing a slower recovery at -5.2% lower than that of the same period in the previous year.
Perishable cargo has been one of the major growth drivers, with the airport having processed 17,212 MT during this period. It accounted for the highest exports of perishables among Indian airports till June 2020 (source: APEDA website). It also processed 180,745 kgs of pomegranate from April to August 2020, to emerge as the leading airport for pomegranate exports from India. The other segments driving growth are readymade garments, engineering goods, pharma and medical supplies.
The introduction of road feeder service – LOGI Connect – to link cities like Tirupur, Coimbatore, Ambur, Salem, Erode, Hyderabad and Chennai further augmented growth, powering the Bengaluru airport's all-India market share of air cargo from 11% to 14%.
Before the pandemic, around 60% of domestic and international freight was being carried in belly space of passenger aircraft and the remainder in freighters. With the reduction in passenger flights due to restrictions, several airlines – both domestic and international – converted P2C aircraft , enabling the availability of a larger amount of cargo capacity.