Varanasi Airport has been recognised as a major airport by the Central Government after it handled more than 1.5 million passengers in 2016 -17, completing three years of above-average growth.
The Airport saw a passenger growth of about eight percent and two percent during FY13 and FY14 respectively, as it flew much higher than the national average of over 20% during the past three fiscal years starting fiscal 2014 -15.
According to industry analysts, the passenger growth during the period at the Airport is much higher than comparable Airports such as Lucknow and Patna.
“Overall, the growth in Varanasi does not seem to be driven by connectivity to more cities, but the increased frequency of flights from existing cities,” said Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, Yatra.com.
Dhall further said that the growth will be sustainable if the business and tourism projects initiated are executed upon and lead to Varanasi becoming a real hub for both business and tourism.
A Tourism Ministry official said that there are big plans to tap the city’s tourism potential which would further help the growth of the city. “There are plans to start a helicopter service with base in Varanasi that will connect Buddhist pilgrimage centres around the city. This will further give a boost to tourism and air travel in the city,” stated the official.