Kuala Lumpur top destination for travellers exiting KIA

Kuala Lumpur top destination for travellers exiting KIA

Riding a big spike in global travellers exiting through the Kempegowda Internationa Airport (KIA) here, the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur has emerged as the top international destination. Passengers heading to KL registered a 58.73% growth in numbers over the last four years.

Travellers bound for Singapore also saw a substantial 54.78% increase in the period between the first quarter of 2015 and Q1 of 2019. Data sourced from the civil aviation regulators also showed a big rise in numbers for Muscat (51.88%), Colombo (51.38%) and London (50.39%).

Aviation experts attribute the rise in numbers to several factors: Inclusion of KIA in their routes by several international airlines, addition of new routes by existing airlines and a surge in tourist traffic, besides discount offers by exotic destinations abroad. 

Although Bangkok, a traditional tourist hotspot for decades recorded a 41.87% growth in passenger numbers, this indicated a shifted towards KL and Singapore. Interestingly, the increase was relatively low to Middle Eastern destinations barring Muscat and Jeddah (41.49%).

In an unprecedented turn, passenger numbers to Abu Dhabi actually declined by 15.9% during the last four years. The travellers' growth to Dubai (19.76%), Doha (18.55%) and Sharjah (10.3%) remained subdued. 

Overall, the sustained growth in passenger numbers has spurred a growth in international flights from KIA. The airport's winter schedule, beginning on the last Sunday of October, is expected to reflect this. Several global airlines have either upgraded their aircraft or increased flight frequencies.

KIA had recorded a 13.2% year-on-year growth in international passenger traffic during April-May, as indicated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). KIA had bucked the national trend in May, a month when airports across the country recorded a 2.3% decline in international traveller traffic.

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