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Bengaluru International Airport first anniversary: One year performance

It has been an eventful year for the technology capital of India — Bangalore on the aviation front. The long awaited Bengaluru International Airport commenced operations on the stroke of 00:01 on May 24, 2008.

During this first anniversary period, I begin with a look back at the performance over the last year.

Eighteen months ago, I was vociferously opposed to the closure of the old HAL airport for commercial traffic. The meteoric growth of Bangalore’s air traffic was showing no signs of abating and HAL would and will serve as a great secondary low cost airport.

Boy, was I wrong. The summer of 2008 came with the massive spike in fuel prices and as a prelude to impending implosion of the global economy, the bubble built by airlines in India burst.

In a perverse way the slowdown in growth gave operators of the new Bengaluru International Airport breathing room to plan for future expansion. I am sure this is not the type of breathing room they prefer, but to look for a positive side in the midst of gloom, they can now focus on Terminal 2 instead of an “Express Terminal”.

A monthly passenger and cargo comparison of fiscal 2008-2009 over the previous year. Clearly domestic traffic both passenger and cargo has taken the brunt of the slowdown. On the international front while passenger traffic was up, cargo took a beating with the global economic meltdown.


Bengaluru International Airport Domestic Passengers 2008-9 vs 2007-8 Bengaluru International Airport Domestic Cargo 2008-9 vs 2007-8.PNG
Bengaluru International Airport International Passengers 2008-9 vs 2007-8 Bengaluru International Airport International Cargo 2008-9 vs 2007-8
Bengaluru International Airport Total Passengers 2008-9 vs 2007-8 Bengaluru International Airport Total Cargo 2008-9 vs 2007-8


I recently sat down with senior officers of the airport operator Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), and plugged in their projections for the next 6 years with historic data to develop a 20 year chart of air traffic performance. The momentum of growth has only been interrupted. Bangalore air traffic will grow as will Bengaluru International Airport.


Happy first anniversary. Looking forward to many more; hopefully with HAL airport serving Bangalore in a secondary airport role with BIAL operating both airports.

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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