This week was supposed to see the commercial opening of the new airport serving Bangalore, Bengaluru International Airport. The opening appears to have been put back until May 23 – there’s no great shame in that – although unsurprisingly the Indain press has been unkind.
The existing Bangalore airport which is operated by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is expected to close once operations at the new airport are under way but this is still being debated in some quarters.
|A fact of life: The press in India, and everywhere else in the world, are always unkind when an airport opens late.|
Traffic growth of 25% reported during last 12 months
In the year from April 2007 to March 2008 Bangalore’s existing airport handled 10.12 million passengers (+24.4%) which ranked it fourth in India behind Mumbai (25.86 million), Delhi (23.97m) and Chennai (10.66 million). Bangalore’s traffic was split between domestic passengers (8.57 million) and international (1.55 million).
The leading airlines in the domestic market are shown below.
|Airline||Frequency share||Capacity share||Number of routes|
|Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 12 May 2008|
If Jet Airways and Jet Lite are combined their capacity share rises to 26.8%, but Kingfisher and Air Deccan combined are now the biggest airline grouping with 35.7% of domestic capacity.
International routes to 12 destinations
A total of 12 international destinations are currently served from Bangalore with three of them experiencing competition. Both Indian Airlines and Singapore Airlines serve Singapore, Dubai is served by Emirates and Indian Airlines and Sharjah sees Air Arabia and Indian Airlines compete. There are daily flights to three European destinations. Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Paris CDG are all served by their national flag carriers with Lufthansa offering the most capacity.
The Bangalore Royal Challengers are one of the eight new city-based teams competing in the inaugural Indian Premier League cricket tournament. Given Kingfisher’s prominent role at the airport it is no great surprise that the owner of the franchise is Kingfisher boss (and F1 team owner) Dr Vijay Mallya who paid nearly US$112 million for the privilege. Unfortunately the team is currently bottom of the league.