A record 17 Indian airports have won top awards for the 2021 Voice of the Customer Recognition” – an annual study conducted by ACI – Airports Council International. These include (in alphabetical order) –
- Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar
- Chandigarh Airport
- Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, Lucknow
- Chennai International Airport, Chennai
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai
- Cochin International Airport, Cochin
- Goa International Airport, Goa
- Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi
- Jaipur International Airport, Jaipur
- Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport, Lucknow
- Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore
- Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, Assam
- Mangaluru International Airport
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata
- Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad
- Thiruvananthapuram International Airport
Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards
Under the category of 2-5 mn passengers pa, Chandigarh Airport has been adjudged among the best in the world. In the 5-15 mn pa, Cochin and Ahmedabad have scored among the best in the world. In the 15-20 mn pax pa, Hyderabad has been recognised. In the over 40 mn pax pa category, Mumbai and Delhi have ranked among the best alongside Changi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, among others. Bangalore’s KGIA which is usually adjudged world’s best in the 25-40 mn passengers pa did not feature this year. One reason for this, is that most international flights to Bangalore were not operating and the Domestic passengers, perhaps did not choose the city’s airport among the best in India and the world.
Pre-pandemic, there were 108 operational airports in India. At the moment, there are over 125. International flights will resume full services starting 27 Mar. ‘22 which is when the global summer schedule begins. Pre-pandemic, India served over 120 mn pax in FY 2019 – mis the 1 week in March when flight services were suspended due to a global lockdown as well as in India. In the past 2 years, the pax numbers have hovered between 40 – 60 mn, though Q3 & Q4 FY 21-22 have seen a sharp rise in passenger movement.
The coming winter schedule is expected to be a bounty to Airport Retailers, especially after the two year rout. Many of retail players in the Airport Retail business have completely shut or have scaled down. Focused Airport retailers such as Ethos watches, Shoppers Stop, Croma among others have cut down their operations while F&B players have been scaling up their locations. The void left by Cafe Coffee Day is being filled by the likes of Starbucks as well as local cafe chains while HMSHost and TFS, the two large Airport Retail F&B Concessionaires hold fort across the top 10 Airports in India.
Adani Group now operates over a half a dozen airports in India including at Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Trivandrum among others. They have also considerably improved the services at the erstwhile AAI managed airports which is now privatised. GMR Group continues to operate Delhi and Hyderabad airports while Goa and a few others are in the pipeline for the Bangalore based infrastructure behemoth.
Overall, with higher passenger satisfaction numbers, retailers across Airports will perhaps see their best year in FY 22-23 after three years.