Hyderabad airport handled 8.6 million passengers last year

April 12th, 2012 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, April 12 (IANS) The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here logged 16 percent growth in passenger traffic during 2011-12 but sees growth slowing down in the current year due to the problems faced by the Indian aviation industry.

The world-class airport, which completed four years of operations last month, registered 8.6 million passengers including 1.9 million international passengers.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates the airport, said it was the second airport after Delhi to register the fastest growth of passenger traffic.

“This year does not look as attractive as the two previous years, mainly due to the local challenges in the aviation sector,” said GHIAL chief executive officer Vikram Jaisinghani.

The airport had registered 17 percent growth in passenger traffic during 2010-11.

“It will be a challenge to maintain the growth this year,” he told reporters here Thursday.

He, however, does not anticipate a negative growth as demand will continue to grow. He hoped that the second half of the financial year would be better.

Jaisinghani pointed out that there was not much growth in the international passenger traffic last year due to capacity problem but hoped that several operators would launch new international flights this year. “We expect lot of bilaterals this year.”

Turkish Airlines is keen to operate a Hyderabad-Istanbul flight.

GHIAL, which broke even during 2010-11, made its first profits last year. The Jaisinghani said the details would be out after the board meeting.

He also declined to share the details of the receivables from cash-strapped Air India and Kingfisher Airlines towards airport charges. “We respect the privacy of our customers. We have receivables but we will talk to them.”

Kingfisher and Air India owe Rs.500 crore to GMR towards airport charges for Delhi airport. GMR-led consortium DIAL is reportedly finding it difficult to operate Delhi airport due to huge losses.

GHIAL is a joint venture company promoted by GMR Infrastructure Ltd (63 percent); Malaysian Airports Holding Berhad (11), Airports Authority of India (13) and Government of Andhra Pradesh (13).

The airport with world-class facilities and the longest run-way in Southeast Asia is designed to handle 12 million passengers per annum. The ultimate capacity will be 40 million passengers.

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