Domestic passenger traffic breaches 70-lakh mark

Planes of different airlines parked at T-3 of IGI Airport in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Domestic aviation has been making a steady recovery from the brutal impact of the second wave of COVID-19. Indian airlines altogether ferried a little more than 70 lakh passengers in September, registering a growth of 5.4% over the previous month, according to the monthly report from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The last time passenger traffic figures were above 70 lakh was in March, following which they saw a sharp drop — 57.25 lakh in April, 21.15 lakh in May, 31.13 lakh in June, 50.07 lakh in July and 67.01 lakh in August.

However, domestic passenger traffic still continues to be behind levels seen prior to the second wave. During the best months so far since the outbreak of COVID-19, these numbers hovered between 73 lakh and 78 lakh between December 2020 and March 2021. In February 2020, before the pandemic impacted air travel, India’s monthly domestic passenger traffic was at 1.23 crore, indicating that last month’s figures are at only 57% of pre-COVID levels.

The recently-improved passenger numbers mean that most airlines witnessed flights with about two-thirds of the seats sold. SpiceJet had the highest passenger load factor (or seat occupancy) at 78.8%, followed by GoAir at 74.1%, IndiGo at 73.6%, Vistara at 72.4% and AirAsia at 68%. Air India, set to be acquired by the Tata group, had a load factor of 63.7%.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 7:53:27 PM |

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