NEW DELHI :
Domestic air passenger traffic saw 5.45% growth last month with the easing of lockdown restrictions following the decline in covid-19 cases, which gave confidence to more people to travel by air.
Around 7.07 million passengers took to the skies in September, compared to 6.7 million in August, according to latest data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
However, domestic air passenger traffic recorded during last month was below the 7.82 million passengers seen in March. Subsequently, with the onset of the second wave of covid infections, domestic airlines recorded a steep fall in passenger traffic, before witnessing a recovery in June.
Passenger load factors (PLF) of major scheduled commercial airlines were between 63%-78.8% during September, compared to 60.3%-79.6% during August.
PLF measures the capacity utilization of transport services, including airlines.
During September, IndiGo ferried 3.97 million passengers to report a 56.2% market share and 73.6% PLF.
Air India’s domestic load factor stood at 63.7%, with a market share of 12.1%, as it ferried 0.85 million passengers.
SpiceJet carried 0.60 million passengers during the month registering a 78.8% PLF and 8.5% market share, while GoFirst (formerly GoAir) catered to 0.58 million passengers, recording a 8.2% market share and 74.1% PLF.
Vistara and AirAsia India ferried 0.61 million and 0.41 million passengers, respectively, during September. While Vistara’s PLF stood at 72.4%, its market share stood at 8.7%. AirAsia India, whose PLF stood at 68%, recorded a market share of 5.8% during the month.
Indian airlines were allowed to operate upto 85% of their pre-covid capacity in September. However, domestic carriers will be able to operate their full pre-covid capacity from 18 October, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said in a statement last week.
Meanwhile, the average number of daily fliers rose to 280,000 during the week ending on 16 October, from 262,000 average daily fliers recorded a week before, broking firm ICICI Securities said in a report on Monday. The average number of departures increased to 2,340 during the week from 2,225 in the previous week, while the number of fliers per departure improved marginally to 120 from 118 a week ago.
“Overall PLF has remained healthy with gradual improvement (during weeke ending on 16 October),” the report added.
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