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How does the big boy's club of Indian airports stack-up?

Updated: May 17, 2023

15 years, one picture, many stories…






1. Turbo-charged Growth 🚀 - Traffic at Indian airports more than tripled in 11 years from 108 million in 2009 to 344 million in 2019 making India the fastest-growing air traffic market in the world.


2. The BIG League 💪 - Top six metro airports handle 60% of India’s air traffic today. Rest 40% is handled by 120+ non-metro airports.


3. Tide is Turning 📈 – Non-metro airports cater to 40% of traffic today. They handled only 25% ,15 years back!


4. Snug as a Bug in a Rug 🥇 - DEL is the King and sits alone at the top – very comfortably


5. The Cramped King 🙄 - BOM, king until being deposed by DEL in 2010, has found it impossible to keep pace with others after running out of room to grow.


6. The Rising Star 🌟 – BLR broke away from the gang of 4 (BLR, HYD, MAA, CCU) in 2014 and now yearns for the company of BOM.

(Prediction: BLR will likely be the second busiest airport in India and the third Gateway to India in the next 5 years).


7. To Grow or Not to Grow 🤔 - MAA and CCU bask in the glory of yesteryears while being outpaced by more agile neighbours.


8. Punching Above Its Weight 🥊 - HYD has silently crept up above MAA and CCU in the number 4 spot thanks to its relentless pursuits.



For me, irrespective of their achievements or failures, as a group, top Indian PPP & JV (public private partnerships & Joint ventures) airports have done a remarkable job in the last 15 years.


Be it accommodating significant capacity induction, achieving exemplary service quality standards, investing heavily in necessary infrastructure, bringing in technology to improve operational efficiency, and coming out with world-class initiatives to elevate the customer experience, Indian PPP airports do not fall short on the consumer expectations – well mostly.


In my opinion, in terms of investing in #paxex, creating new business avenues, tech adoption, and enhancing operational effectiveness Indian airports are miles ahead of their airline partners. However, they are yet to receive the recognition they are due for their role in the growth of Indian aviation.


As more and more airports in India step-up their game in the coming years, wonder what the next 15 years have in store.


Thanks 🙏


P.S. - What do you think the top priority of Indian airports should be in the next few years? Do share in the comments.

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