The four airports in the state have seen a robust growth in their air passengers. Visakhapatnam Airport reaches an all-time high of 23.58 lakh passengers against 18.04 lakh in the year 2015-16. The rate of growth has been registered as 30.7% in the year of 2016-17. The Vijayawada airport has recorded 6.22 lakh passenger traffic in 2016-17 against 3.98 lakh in the year 2015-16, having registered a growth of 56.1%. The other airports, at Tirupathi and Rajahmundry has seen an air passenger growth by 31% and 16.7% respectively.
However, the bulk of the passengers travelling from Visakhapatnam are domestic passengers. In the year 2016-17 there has been as many as 21.12 lakh domestic passengers using the Visakhapatnam airport which has a registered growth of 34.3% than the previous year. It is disappointing that the international passengers saw a decline by 19.5% this year.
The Vizag Airport director, Vinod Kumar reportedly said that the main reason for the growth is due to the increased connectivity. Most of the flights connect different destinations from Vizag and the airfares are also made affordable when compared to the previous year. He also said that they are targeting to cross the 2.5 million mark in this current fiscal year. Gunadeep Narendrapuram, an airline enthusiast reportedly said that the international air passenger traffic has decreased due to the stoppage of Malindo Air last year.
The domestic air freight handled at Vizag airport has also witnessed a surge in the year 2016-17. It handled around 4708 tons in 2016-17 whereas it handled around 2935 tons in the year 2015-16, thereby registering a growth of 60.4%. It is known that the Visakhapatnam airport is connected to 13 domestic destinations and three international destinations which include, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.