BENGALURU: A milestone in Bengaluru’s aviation history was created at 10.05 am on Tuesday when Terminal 2 of Kempegowda International Airport witnessed the landing of its first international flight.
A total of 212 passengers were on board a Saudia Airlines flight from Jeddah - SV 866 - which arrived at the New South Parallel Runway, ten minutes before its scheduled arrival. It was the first to arrive at T2.
Its return flight to Jeddah (SV 867) was also the first to depart from T2 at 11.50 am.
IndiGo was the first Indian airline to start international operations from T2. Its flight 6E 1167 took off from the same runway to Colombo by 12.10 pm with 130 passengers on board.
A grand programme with Dollu Kunitha and Yakshagana artistes was staged at the entry of Gate One to welcome passengers arriving in the first international flight.
A majority of the flyers who arrived on the first flight were Umra pilgrims from Karnataka who had gone to Mecca. They gave a big thumbs up to T2. Among them was Maaz Khan, an HR professional in Bengaluru. "It was a very good experience. We received a very nice welcome from all," he told TNIE.
Another flyer Umar Sairoz said, "Within minutes the immigration clearance was completed and luggage delivered."
Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer of Airport Operations, Bangalore International Airport Limited said, "We started domestic operations at T2 in January this year and international operations today."
"The airport sees an average of 15,000 international passengers daily and the number is set to increase hugely in future," she added.
A total of 27 airlines, 25 of them international and two national, will be operating between 30 to 35 international flights daily.
Domestic operations of Air Asia, Air India, Vistara, and Star Air will operate from T2.
Indigo, Spicejet, Alliance Air, and Akasa Air will continue to run from T1 only.
The launch of international operations from T2 was proposed to be held on August 31 but was cancelled at the last minute due to safety issues at the airport and numerous incomplete works.