Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scaling up operations at BIA

Scaling up operations at BIA

Special Correspondent

CHICKABALLAPUR: Several international air carriers, including Air China, have expressed their willingness to operate their services to Bangalore in the coming days.

Bangalore International Airport Ltd., which operates the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), announced on Monday that Air China was willing to operate its services on the Shanghai-Chengdu-Bangalore route.

Qatar Airways had expressed intent to begin operations from Bangalore in summer 2010. It plans to deploy an A321 daily, arriving from Doha.

Similarly, AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur too is scheduled to begin operations in April 2010.

While Lufthansa and Air France, which had reduced frequencies, have since expressed reinstatement of the same, Oman Air, SriLankan Airways, Malaysian Airlines and Tiger Airways are planning to increase weekly frequencies, the BIAL Chief Executive Officer Marcel Hungerbuehler said in a media release.

In the cargo category, Freighters FedEx, Aryan air cargo and Quikjet have expressed their intention to begin operations from the BIA this season. The airport plans to add four new routes, three international and one domestic, every year and the focus would be on connecting Bangalore to China, Africa and the U.S.

New passenger demand for the BIAL, in the near-to-midterm, would mainly come from airlines based in Asia and Middle East, Mr. Hungerbuehler said.

The BIA had been witnessing an increase in passenger traffic since July. The passenger traffic in the last quarter was 2.45 million, the highest ever at

the airport since it began commercial operations in May 2008.

Similarly, cargo also showed an upward trend from June 2009, with an increasing growth rate of 1.8 per cent in June to 20 per cent in December.

Two new freighters, India Post and Deccan 360, were added to the domestic cargo operations in 2009, he said.

“In the last quarter, the Airport Service Quality (ASQ), which is a world graph of airport performance standards, rated BIA as high as 4.17 on a scale

of 1 to 5, comparing it to the best airports in the world,” Mr. Hungerbuehler said.

While reviewing its performance for 2009, the BIAL said that flight punctuality at the airport was over 85 per cent, within 15 minutes of the scheduled time of departure.


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