Tiruchi Airport Sees Surge in Passenger Traffic Amid Calls for New Routes

Tiruchi International Airport records 16.5% increase in passenger traffic in 2023-2024 fiscal year, with 13.05 lakh international and 4.59 lakh domestic passengers. VietJet airline suspends operations to Vietnam, prompting calls for new flights to overseas destinations.

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Nitish Verma
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Tiruchi Airport Sees Surge in Passenger Traffic Amid Calls for New Routes

Tiruchi Airport Sees Surge in Passenger Traffic Amid Calls for New Routes

Tiruchi International Airport has witnessed a remarkable 16.5% increase in passenger traffic during the 2023-2024 fiscal year, with 13.05 lakh international passengers and 4.59 lakh domestic passengers passing through its gates. The airport, which is the second busiest in Tamil Nadu after Chennai, currently offers direct connectivity to 10 overseas destinations, including Colombo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Doha, Muscat, and Kuwait.

Why this matters: The growth of Tiruchi International Airport has significant implications for the regional economy, as increased air connectivity can boost tourism, trade, and investment. Moreover, the expansion of the airport's network to new overseas destinations can create new opportunities for businesses and individuals in the region, further enhancing its economic potential.

Despite this impressive growth, the airport faced a setback in March 2024 when VietJet airline suspended its operations to Vietnam, citing "operational reasons." This development has prompted tourism and travel circles to call for the introduction of flights to new overseas destinations, which they believe would further boost the airport's growth and cater to the needs of regional travelers.

S.A. Mubashir, vice-president of the Trichy Tourism Federation, emphasized the need to fully utilize the airport's modern facilities, including its 10 aero bridges, to generate revenue and serve the region's travelers. Mubashir suggested that marketing the airport among airlines is crucial, particularly to tap into the immense traffic potential to destinations such asRiyadh and Damam in West Asia, as well as Africa, Europe, the United States, and Canada.

One potential avenue for expanding the airport's reach is the designation of Tiruchi as a point of call under the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA). This move could pave the way for introducing flights to more overseas destinations, further enhancing the airport's connectivity and attracting a greater number of passengers.

The 2023-2024 fiscal year has been a testament to Tiruchi International Airport's growth, with a 16.5% increase in overall passenger movement, including a 15.1% rise in international passengers and a 20.7% surge in domestic travelers. As the airport continues to serve as a vital hub for the region, the call for expanding its network to new overseas destinations grows louder, with stakeholders eager to unlock the airport'sfull potential.