Recently, Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru) opened its brand-new state-of-the-art Terminal 2, read our writer’s review.
Currently, the terminal is starting to handle pax in a phased manner. According to sources after two years or so all international operations will operate from this terminal (similar to Mumbai airport) and they plan to make the existing T1 Domestic only.
T2 is spread across a built-up area of 255,000 square meters, Terminal 2, for which planning began in 2018, it also is equipped to handle at least 25 million flyers annually.
Phase 1 of T2 was built at the cost of Rs 5,000 crore, it is expected to handle almost 20 million passengers soon after Phase 2 of the Terminal 2 is complete.
Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated this Terminal on 11th, November 2022, but the operations from this terminal began only on January 15, 2023, (an Auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar) with Star Air (regional airline in India) being the sole operator out of the terminal, soon after one month Air Asia India started its operations out of this brand new terminal and I couldn’t wait to fly with them.
Finally, I had a work trip to Chennai, and I booked myself (BLR-MAA-BLR), so sit back and enjoy my review on Terminal 2 as well as Air Asia India.
Air Asia India; Bengaluru to Chennai
⦁ Flight Number – I5 611 (BLR-MAA)
⦁ Departure Airport – Kempegowda International Airport T2 (Bengaluru)
⦁ Arrival Airport – Chennai International Airport (Bengaluru)
⦁ Registration – VT-IMP, 15.5 Years old during the time of flight.
⦁ Aircraft Type – Airbus A320-200
Air Asia India has its own app and the UI is quite user-friendly, web check-in was quite easy and I was all set for the trip to Chennai.
Arrival at Bengaluru Airport
As I always prefer to travel to the airport by public transport (in Bengaluru it’s always BMTC busses), these busses drop passengers off at a designated Bus Bay at T1.
As soon as I reached there, I could find plenty of board directing passengers towards the free shuttle service to travel to T2 which is approximately one kilometer away from T1.
I could see a bus standing next to the board which said “Shuttle to T2,” I boarded the bus and within 3-4 minutes the bus moved towards the new terminal building. I was awe-struck when I got off at T2 of Bengaluru.
Review of the brand-new Terminal 2
The airport looked very shiny and beautiful from the outside, it can easily be called a “Bamboo Airport” as the majority of its structural design was crafted with bamboo and renewable materials which emit net zero carbon.
The terminal building has these very good-looking artifacts, right at the entrance they have added these huge screens that give you the effect of entering a garden, with those added sounds of birds chirping it makes one feel as if entering a garden space.
The Interior looked surreal; this must be one of the most beautiful terminals in India. The airport wore a deserted look, and it was expected for such a big terminal where only two airlines are operating and out of which one of them happens to be a regional airline.
Some of the bell-like structures felt like Christmas decorations hanging down from the ceiling. For the first time in any airport, I was busy clicking pictures of the terminal and sending them to my friends as this airport had definitely exceeded my expectations.
Air Asia India’s counters were almost empty, and I could easily get a printout of my boarding card as for some reason one could still not use their digital pass on mobile.
As soon as I cleared the security check (within 5 minutes) I walked across this hallway which had plants put up on either side.
One thing I realized was that T2 felt a lot more spacious than its predecessor, to my surprise passengers with long layovers need not access the lounge to get a good sleep or rest in some sections of the airport they have very comfortable seating/sofas which are way more comfortable than the ones I have experienced at any other airport in the country.
There is a lounge that has come up in what seems to be a commercial shop (but is currently operated as a lounge) more about this in the next section.
Once you proceed towards the boarding area, I was very happy to see that finally, Bengaluru airport has an amazing apron view and as the terminal is right in front of the taxiway heading towards the second runway (which is currently used for the majority of departures) it provided some amazing views.
This terminal is also built up in such a way that it allows most of the natural light to enter the airport terminal building during the daytime. I did spend some quality time clicking photos of my phone of the aircraft, this terminal has become my new favorite, replacing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport T2 (Mumbai).
Yes, there is still a lot of work that is still underway. For starters, the lounge needs to move into a place that feels like a lounge and not a makeshift diner. Even the food options were quite limited than the ones at T1. The washroom looks very neat and clean but for some reason, I could find a lot of mosquitoes in there.
I did complain about this to the authorities who said it was mainly because of the construction materials lying around and would be rectified soon. As I arrived at the same terminal, arrivals were no different, it has a huge space for baggage belts (better than T1) and looks stunning like the departures.
In my opinion, T2 is a much-needed upgrade over T1 and will help the city become a global gateway to the country.
As mentioned in the earlier part, this lounge was opened in the place where a commercial store was meant to open, it feels very constrained and once the passenger influx increases, they for sure will not be able to operate out of the existing space.
They have a live food counter which serves Dosa (a south Indian breakfast) and omelets. There were limited food options (I have visited the BLR Lounge many times for breakfast and the food quality and options there have always been very good) but here I wasn’t so impressed by both the options or the taste.
In one corner they have placed 2 coffee machines out of which one seems to have stopped working and another one was working fine but was sucking up milk from the open tray kept next to it, not sure how this fits into the hygiene part of their operations, so I decided to skip the coffee and just a have bottle of water.
Air Asia India for the first time I felt had their boarding process streamlined and under control (most of the time it’s just passengers crowding near the gate to just get on-board first and never saw “zone-wise boarding” being followed).
This time they were boarding strictly according to the zones and if some passengers still tried to enter, they sent them aside and informed them to only come in the line when their zone was announced.
I was sad to leave this amazing terminal but was optimistic about flying a lot out of this terminal soon.
Now, as we have already covered flight review on-board Air Asia India I will skip the rest of the parts and if you wish to read my entire report on-board Air Asia India the link for the same can be found here.