Bengaluru Airport BLR records 35% passenger growth in 2023

Kempegowda International Airport: The Rising Star of Bengaluru
Photo Credit: Ank Kumar via Wikimedia Commons.
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR) saw a notable growth in passenger numbers in the 2023 calendar year.

The Airport served a total of 37.2 million passengers, marking a 35.3% increase compared to 2022. Additionally, BLR Airport continues to maintain its standing as a reliable hub for handling perishable cargo in India for the third consecutive year.

2023 Rebound


The numbers speak volumes – 37.2 million passengers graced the halls of BLR Airport in 2023, representing a remarkable 35.3% increase from the preceding year.

Of this number, 32.7 million were domestic travelers, while 4.5 million explored international destinations.

A noteworthy feat was achieved on April 29, 2023, when the airport recorded 116,688 passengers in a single day, surpassing pre-pandemic daily traffic levels and signalling BLR Airport’s resilience and rebound.

Photo Credit: BLR Airport

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Factors Driving Growth


Several factors contributed to this remarkable growth, including the easing of travel restrictions, improved economic conditions, and a surging demand for both leisure and business travel.

March 17, 2023, witnessed the highest number of air traffic movements (ATMs) in a day, reaching an impressive 748 ATMs – a significant recovery compared to the previous year.

Domestic ATMs saw a substantial 22% recovery, and international ATMs exhibited a 15% increase, signalling a positive shift in the aviation sector.

Connectivity and New Routes


September 2023 marked a pivotal moment as BLR Airport smoothly transitioned international operations from T1 to T2, showing its adaptability and efficiency.

Notably, Lufthansa introduced thrice-weekly non-stop Bengaluru-Munich flights in November 2023, enhancing connectivity.

Additionally, Maldivian Airlines commenced thrice-weekly operations to Male, contributing to the airport’s expanding network.

Domestic Operations

BLR Airport introduced five new domestic routes, further bolstering its capacity growth. The creation of AIX (Air India Express and Air Asia India merger) in October 2023 added to the domestic diversity.

Top domestic routes included Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, solidifying BLR Airport’s position as a key player in the Indian aviation landscape.

International Operations

Serving 25 international destinations, with Dubai, Singapore, and Doha leading the way, BLR Airport’s importance as a hub for global connectivity remains prominent.

The strategic focus on South and Central India positions the airport as a vital gateway for international travel.

BLR Cargo: Continued Dominance


BLR Cargo maintained its status as India’s top hub for perishable cargo, handling 53,751 metric tonnes (MT) in FY 2023.

The total cargo processed during CY 2023 reached 422,644 MT, reflecting a 2% increase from the previous year.

Growth in Diversity

Domestic cargo witnessed an impressive 11% growth, solidifying BLR’s position as a rapidly growing cargo hub in India.

Notably, coriander exports surged by 67%, and mango exports reached a three-year record high, growing by 124% year-on-year.

This achievement is a testament to BLR Cargo’s robust cold chain capabilities and dedication to efficient perishable handling.

Strategic Infrastructure Developments

Bengaluru BLR Cargo’s strategic moves in May 2023 welcomed two new Cargo terminal operators – Menzies Aviation Bangalore Pvt Ltd (MABPL) and WFS Bangalore Pvt Ltd (WFSBPL).

MABPL focuses on dedicated facilities for cargo processing, while WFSBPL specializes in cold chain capabilities.

These partnerships aim to enhance efficiency, expand capacity, and sustain cargo growth, with a target of approximately ~1 million MT by the end of the decade.

Record-Breaking Moments

July 2023 marked a significant milestone as BLR Cargo handled the highest monthly domestic tonnage, totaling 16,507 MT.

Oman Airlines’ initiation of freighter operations added another layer to BLR Cargo’s global connectivity, solidifying its position in the international cargo arena.

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Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR) has enjoyed a 35% passenger growth in 2023, retaining dominance as India's main perishable cargo hub
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