Domestic air traffic grows 23% in October

Nearly 8.67 million passengers flew in October, compared with 7.03 million a year ago, according to a DGCA report


Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint
Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

India’s domestic air traffic grew 23.2% in October, continuing its over two-year run of double-digit growth on the back of cheap fares and rising connectivity.

Nearly 8.67 million passengers flew in October, compared with 7.03 million a year ago, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, or DGCA, said in a report on Monday.

IndiGo continued to dominate the market with a 42.6% share, gaining from its 40% share reached in September.

Such a high market share was common in early 2000s when Air India, Air Sahara and Jet Airways were the only options.

SpiceJet Ltd increased its market share from 12.5% in September to 12.9%, Vistara’s from 2.5% to 2.7% and AirAsia from 2.3% to 2.7%.

Jet Airways (India) Ltd’s domestic market share slipped from 18.6% to 17.1%, Air India’s slipped from 14.7% to 13% and GoAir’s from 8.3% to 7.9%.

Smaller airlines such as Air Costa, Air Carnival and TruJet had the rest of the market in low single digits.

Operations of regional airline Air Pegasus remained suspended for the third month.

SpiceJet flew its flights 91.9% full, followed by IndiGo (84.9%), GoAir (84.4%), AirAsia (78.3%), Jet (75.5%), Air India (71.8%) and Vistara (69.2%).

Growth is being driven by cheap fares led by low fuel prices and more planes coming in.

“This is driven by lower airfares on account of continued low oil prices and increased airline capacity. We expect this growth trend to continue in the short to medium term as oil seems stable and therefore airfares are likely to remain on the lower side,” said Sharat Dhall, chief operating officer, Yatra.com.

India will be among the five fastest-growing markets, after China and the US, in terms of additional passengers per year over the forecast period with 322 million new passengers among the total of 442 million flyers during the period (2035), International Air Transport Association (Iata) which represents 85% of the global airline traffic said last month. Iata said it expects India to displace the UK as the third largest aviation market by 2026.

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