Delhi preferred airport for Australasia-bound travelers

Representative image. PTI Photo

New Delhi, DHNS: Delhi Airport has emerged as the preferred hub for travelers from India to Australasian countries, comprising Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and other islands dotting the Pacific ocean.

Of the 19 lakh travelers to Australasia from India between April 2018 and March 2019, as many as 7.7 lakh embarked on their journeys from the Delhi Airport, taking its share to 41% of the total traffic from 28% the previous year.

Melbourne is the most preferred destination of Australasia-bound travelers from the Delhi Airport with 33% of the 7.7 lakh passengers, followed by Sydney (25%), Auckland in New Zealand (15%), Brisbane (10%), Perth (6%) and Adelaide (5%).

“Delhi Airport has emerged as the hub for traffic to Australasia. It is the only airport in the SAARC region to have non-stop connectivity with Sydney and Melbourne,” Videh Kimar Jaipuriar, CEO, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), said.

Interestingly, Delhi is the only airport in India to witness an increase in passenger share for the Australasian region, whereas other major airports such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai posted a dip during the same period.

Air India operates direct flights to Sydney that takes 12 hours 30 minutes to complete the journey, as against longer hopping flights operated by other airliners.

“This route has immense potential to grow further in future and I am sure that other Indian and foreign carriers would like to operate direct flights from Delhi,” Jaipuriar said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), more than 1,00,000 Indian students are studying in Australia. The island nation is also home to around 5,92,000 Indians, which is about 2.4% of the total population.

India has become Australia’s fastest growing tourist market with visitor numbers increasing by 53%, driven by a surge in arrivals of those visiting family and friends. The numbers are also expected to increase given that Australia would be hosting the T20 cricket world cup next year.

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