MUMBAI: With Dussehra and then Diwali falling in the same month this year, domestic airlines saw a sharp upswing in passenger traffic for the second time in October. Domestic airlines had carried a record 3.27 lakh passengers on the Sunday after Dussehra and now on the weekend before Diwali, a new record has been set, what with 3.38 lakh passengers boarding over 2,500 domestic flights on Saturday, the highest per day volume of passengers and flights flown since March 23 last year. Domestic passenger traffic breached the 3-lakh per day mark on six days this month; all of them weekend days, except for 18 October, which was a Monday. Compared to Friday, passenger numbers on Saturday and Sunday were found to be higher. Prior to this, domestic passenger traffic had almost touched the 3-lakh per day mark in the first week of March this year. It tumbled thereafter as the Covid second wave swept away the demand for air travel. Said an airline official, requesting anonymity: “We expect to carry a higher volume of passengers for the coming weekend. Typically, Sunday sees the highest passenger loads on flights that arrive into metros like Delhi, Mumbai.” For passengers wishing to escape the festive rush, Tuesdays would be the day to board a flight as passenger traffic dipped on this day on all weeks this month. For instance: on October 26, a Tuesday, airlines carried a total of 2.56 lakh passengers, while the passenger traffic the previous day, a Monday, was 2.84 lakh and, on Wednesday, it was 2.66 lakh. It was a similar pattern for the earlier weeks of this month.