New Delhi: India's domestic airlines carried 26% more passengers in August and filled up more seats compared with a year earlier, helped by cheaper fares and a reviving economy.

Rising occupancy: A file photo of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The domestic airlines flew 3.63 million people in August. S. Burmaula / Hindustan Times

The airlines flew 3.63 million people in August, generally considered one of the leanest months for passenger traffic, compared with 2.89 million a year ago, according to data released on Monday by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Many airlines reported a sharp rise in occupancy. Low-fare airline GoAir’s flights were 80.1% full in August compared with 70% a year ago, IndiGo’s occupancy improved to 79.2% from 62%, SpiceJet’s to 73% from 56.8% and JetLite’s to 72.9% from 63%.

Full-service airlines also filled up more seats in the month. Jet Airways’ flight occupancy improved to 70% from 68.3%, Kingfisher Airlines’ to 68.7% from 49% and Air India’s to 59.8% from 56.2%.

“It’s the second consecutive month of some positive growth," said an aviation analyst with a Mumbai brokerage, who didn’t want to be named as he isn’t authorized to speak to the media. “Moving from July to August, they have shown marginal growth. Generally, we see some kind of negative or flattish growth (in August)." In July, passenger traffic rose 18% from a year earlier to 3.59 million.

Low-cost carriers gained more market share as well in August at the expense of their full-service counterparts. SpiceJet’s market share increased to 12.3% from 8.5% a year earlier, IndiGo’s to 13.9% from 10.3% and GoAir’s to 5.7% from 2.7%. Jet Airways’ market share slid to 26.4% from 33.5%, Kingfisher’s to 22.6% from 25% and Air India’s to 16.6% from 18% .