Passengers got a feel of the Kempegowda International Airport’s (KIA) Terminal 2 (T2) as operations began this January after being officially inaugurated in November 2022.
Referred to as ‘Terminal in a Garden’, T2 initially catered to domestic operations of a few airlines as Terminal 1 handled the bulk of domestic and international flights. Gradually, some more domestic carriers moved to T2.
Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), operator of the airport, had initially set the proposed shifting of international operations to T2 on August 31. However it was postponed owing to non clearance by regulatory authorities.
On September 12, all international flights shifted operations to T2 as the new terminal, along with the domestic flights of AirAsia, Air India, Star Air, and Vistara. T1 serves as the operational hub for domestic flights of Indigo, Akasa Air, Alliance Air, and SpiceJet.
T2 has been recognised as one of the world’s most beautiful airports and awarded the World Special Prize for an Interior 2023 at the UNESCO’s 2023 Prix Versailles.
BIAL has also undertaken a comprehensive refurbishment programme at T1, which includes upgrading baggage handling systems, installation of new elevators and escalators, enhancement of security areas, and redevelopment of kerbside areas.
In November, BIAL said it has successfully completed a major terminal transformation project, which includes the repurposing of the former International area within T1 to create a dedicated and expansive space for domestic operations.
In addition to this, it is drawing up a new master plan to prepare for the airport’s next phase of development. The new master plan update, which will be ready in the next one year, will look at where Terminal 3 (T3), which is expected to come up by early 2030, will be located on the airport premises.
BIAL is also open to having a second airport for Bengaluru as the capacity will reach the 90 million traffic mark by the early 2030s. It has said that it would also bid for operating a second airport if the government decides to develop one.
Recovering from COVID
Having incurred losses in 2020-21 and 2021-22 due to COVID-19, KIA made a profit in 2022-23. KIA was the most profitable airport among public-private partnership (PPP) airports in the country as it earned a profit of ₹528 crore in the financial year 2022-23.
The year 2023 also saw the Bengaluru-Munich direct flight taking off nearly three years after it was announced.