New Delhi: India was the global leader in terms of domestic air traffic growth for the 22nd month in a row in January, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday.
Air traffic in the country jumped 26.6% year-on-year in January, which was also the 15th consecutive month to record 20%-plus annual growth, according to IATA.
“Demand is being stimulated by strong flight frequency,” IATA said.
Dozens of new flights are being added with airlines set to add about 60 planes this year alone.
Indian carriers have 880 aircraft on order, of which 600-650 are expected to be delivered over the next 10 years. Of this, around 30% will be used for replacements, according to consulting firm CAPA.
“All markets except Brazil showed growth, paced by double-digit increases in China, India and Russia.
Capacity increased 8.7% and load factor was 80.1%, up 0.9% percentage points,” IATA noted.
The large domestic markets in India, China and Japan mean that local travel accounts for 45% of the total in the Asia-Pacific region.
IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said 2017 was off to a very strong start, with demand at levels not seen since 2011. “This is supported by the upturn in the global economic cycle and a return to a more normal environment after the terrorism and political ‘shock’ events seen in early 2016,” he said.
IATA expects India to displace UK as the third-largest aviation market by 2026. Ten years after that, India’s air passenger traffic will grow to 442 million by 2035—a rise of 322 million passengers from the current numbers, it estimates.
According to IATA, the five fastest-growing markets in terms of additional passengers per year over the forecast period would be China, the US, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
“China will displace the US as the world’s largest aviation market (defined by traffic to, from and within the country) around 2029. India will displace the UK for the third place in 2026, while Indonesia enters the top ten at the expense of Italy,” IATA had said in its forecast last year.
“Growth will also increasingly be driven within developing markets. Over the past decade the developing world’s share of total passenger traffic has risen from 24% to nearly 40%, and this trend is set to continue.