The airport handled 83,000 passengers in August compared to 53,000 passengers in July. It is ranked third after Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Bengaluru handled 80,000 international passengers in August, according to statistics from the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Sources said the figures for Chennai are expected to reach nearly a lakh for September and October. In the pre-Covid era, the airport handled around 5 lakhs of international passengers.
Although regular international flights have not yet resumed, there is a huge demand from people traveling for education, business and leisure.
AAI and airline officials have said pent-up travel demand will help the airport hit pre-Covid footfall by year-end if scheduled flights resume in November.
Sri Lanka and Thailand open to vaccinated travelers after European countries, ongoing Dubai exhibition and IPL in UAE expected to boost demand for leisure and business travel in coming weeks from the city. The Indian government’s decision to resume visa issuance for tourists arriving on charter flights from October 15 will also boost inbound travel.
Sri Lanka, Thailand and countries in the Middle East are the most popular destinations from Chennai. S Baskar, Board Member of the Federation of Travel Agents of India (TAFI), said: âInternational travel is set to increase in the coming months. respondents wanted to travel abroad for leisure during the period October-November-December.
Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said: “Our survey shows strong travel demand for the last quarter of 2021.”