Bengaluru International Airport completes 6 months of operations

Bengaluru International Airport announced the completion of six months of airport operations. The new greenfield airport opened on 24-May-08.

80% of the aircrafts departed on time with 15 mins tolerance, as per the internationally accepted norms. Average wait time for delivery of the first baggage on the arrival belt being 9 minutes for domestic and 13 minutes for international arrivals. Average queue time at check-in is 10 minutes, at security check it is 7 minutes, at arrival immigration it is 15 minutes and at departure immigration it is just 7 minutes.

Albert Brunner, CEO of BIAL shared data, facts and figures with the media. He said, “The passenger today is evolved with his travel to other international airports. The performance at an airport is measured in terms of the time taken for each process and his quick entry and exit from the airport. We are glad to have established the success of this six month young airport with data supporting its operational efficiency.”

Bengaluru International Airport Traffic

The airport began operations with 170 flights per day in May-08, it ended the summer ‘08 season with 162 flights per day. For the winter ’08, flights increased to 165 per day resulting in a growth of 1.5%. Although the domestic air traffic reflects a decline of 1.5%, this overall positive growth is due to the increased international flight operations from Bangalore further establishing the many promises that the city holds. Compared to the summer season, the airport will see a 23% growth in international movements.

The last six months have seen the introduction of six new international air carriers into Bangalore, making more global destinations directly accessible to air travelers. These include Dragon Air, Tiger Airways, Oman Air, Air Mauritius and most recently Indian carriers – Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways. This increase is largely due to the city’s attractive air traffic passenger profile and the increased capacity of the new airport.

The total increase in international flights during the winter schedule is over 160% as compared to last year’s winter schedule. New flights and sectors from our Bengaluru International Airport also includes Indian Airlines to Abu Dhabi which commenced operations from 27-Oct-08. Additionally, Transmile (freighter ) will begin operations to Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur – Subang).

New additions at the terminal

Bengaluru International Airport recently opened its Reserved Lounge that caters to high profile and important travelers such as MLAs, MPs, Chief Secretaries, visiting dignitaries and high profile executives. The lounge also houses an office for the State Intelligence and is operational 24/7. The other lounges in the terminal building include the Oberoi, Kingfisher and BIAL operated lounge – Cafe Net at the domestic departures. In addition, the VVIP terminal on the airside also has a lounge. The airport is readying to add the Indian (IC) lounge, soon to open, to its list of lounges, built on par with international standards.

My personal observations

  • Congratulations to the BIAL team for completing 6 months. The airport is coming along nicely on the passenger front. The cargo terminal operators are doing a good to decent job, and operations are stabilising at AI-SATS and good at Menzies.


  • The whole focus of BIAL is still only on passengers. Its time for their focus to include “Non passenger” business visitors’, whose needs are still ignored. The air cargo operations contributes about 30% of airport revenue to BIAL, and is critical for most industries.
  • There is no parking, no proper security or traffic control in the service roads near the service areas like flight kitchens, cargo terminals, airline offices, etc.
  • There are almost 5,000 employees at the airport, and an additional 1,000+ of business providers like cargo agents and customs agents. Many of these staff, want to use the Vayu Vajra and Suvarna bus services, to reduce transport cost and travel in greater comfort. BMTC has an excellent monthly pass, but they are unable to use it, as these buses only can stop at the main parking.
  • There is no shuttle bus service INSIDE the airport which can link long term parking with the passenger terminal building, or the main. Inside the airport premises is BIAL responsibility and they have to fulfil it.
  • The cargo village is still not delivered. The airlines’ offices building is still not delivered.
  • There is no official, active involvement with industry, the primary customer of the airport.

I can only exhort BIAL to improve in these areas of shortcoming. Time to make BIA from good to great.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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