CHENNAI: The Chennai airport is ranked among the global top 10 fastest growing airports when it comes to cargo handling, according to an International Air Transport Association (IATA) report.
The IATA report has said Chennai has recorded a strong growth of 17.2 pc along with the Mumbai airport (18.1 pc) to figure in the list along with Kuwait, Moscow, Cincinnati in the United States, Hangzhou in China, Muscat in Oman, Campinas in Brazil, Johannesburg, and Nairobi in Kenya.
The total cargo tonnage flown from India crossed the one-million threshold in 2017, with a strong, double-digit growth rate of 16.9 pc. In terms of global rankings, Dehli and Mumbai appear in the list of the top 50 airports for freight handling, ranked at 29 and 31, respectively.
Meanwhile, Delhi-Chennai and Mumbai-Chennai figure among the top 10 largest city-pair routes within India. While domestically the Delhi-Chennai route is ranked 7th in handling 18.36 lakh passengers in 2017 (a drop of -5.4 pc from last year), the stretch is globally ranked 80th. Similarly, the Mumbai-Chennai route is ranked 9th domestically with a growth of 5.1 pc this year and figures 91 worldwide. The Mumbai-Delhi air stretch with 55.66 lakh is ranked 7 in domestic route and worldwide.
In a similar way, of the top 10 growth airports in terms of passenger handling in 2017, two are located in India, namely, Delhi and Bengaluru. In terms of global rankings, Delhi is ranked 16 globally in terms of passenger handling and Mumbai is ranked 29.
The report also stated that in 2017, more than 158 million passengers flew on routes to, from and within India, which represents an increase of almost 15% over 2016 and it is the third consecutive year of growth in the order of 15-20% per year. The domestic share of total traffic has been generally increasing gradually over the past decade. From 54.5% in 2007, and notwithstanding some bumps along the way, the domestic share has gradually risen to the 61.7% level of 2017.
Over the year to June 2018, the India domestic market has grown by a very strong 17.6%, well above the industry-wide (domestic markets) pace of 7.9%. In 2017, there were a total of 97.7 million domestic passenger journeys, up almost 15 million from 83 million in 2016.
The composition of the current in-service fleet is heavily tilted towards narrow body aircraft. Narrow bodies account for 3/4th of the total current fleet, with wide bodies contributing a further 10%. The remainder consists primarily of turboprops and regional jet aircraft.