According to a report by Official Airline Guide (OAG), a global travel data provider, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport became the world’s second busiest in March this year, two years after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, indicating a slow recovery of the travel and aviation sectors.
Even though the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, was ahead of Dubai, the top spot stayed with the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Delhi was placed third in February, behind Atlanta and Dubai.
The data is calculated by OAG based on the number of domestic and international seats booked to and from the airport. According to the study, 3.61 million tickets were booked at Delhi International Airport in March, exceeding Dubai International Airport (3.55 million seats) but falling short of Atlanta International Airport (3.55 million seats) (4.42 million seats).
London Heathrow (3.51 million seats) was the fourth busiest airport during this time, followed by Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (3.46 million seats).
In April 2019, previous to the epidemic, the Delhi airport was rated 23rd.
Despite the rebound, airport authorities claim that passenger volume is still at 70% of pre-Covid levels.
International traffic at the Delhi airport climbed from 722,431 passengers in February 2022 to 983,728 passengers in March 2022, according to data from the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Following the restoration of all international flights on March 27, 2022, this is likely to show an even larger increase in April.
In terms of domestic traffic, according to AAI data, the Delhi airport handled 3,066,121 passengers in February, up from 4,092,583 passengers in March.
“The Covid-19 epidemic has wreaked havoc throughout the globe. For the past two years, travel restrictions have had a negative impact on the travel and tourist industries. But now, as the number of vaccinated people around the world rises, governments are loosening travel restrictions and gradually opening their borders,” said Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO of Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), adding that India opened its borders last month and allowed fully vaccinated international travelers into the country, which is expected to boost the industry.