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Air travel rises for 4th straight month

Air travel rises for 4th straight month

New Delhi: Domestic air travel rose for the fourth month in a row, with a 26% rise in the number of people carried in April.

India’s eight domestic carriers carried 4.18 million passengers in April, compared with 3.31 million a year earlier, data from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation show.

April’s rise was faster than March’s 23%, February’s 7.82% and January’s 22.5% growth figures.

Jet Airways (India) Ltd, which continued to have the largest market share at 25.9%, also accounted for the highest number of flight cancellations for April. Jet cancelled 3.4% of its flights, while subsidiary JetLite led with 10.4% flights against the industry average of 2.5% for April.

State-run Air India’s passenger share rose to 18.2% from 17.6%; IndiGo’s rose to 15.7% from 13.7%; SpiceJet Ltd’s rose to 12.6% from 11.7%; and GoAir’s rose to 5.9% from 4.4%. IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir are low-fare airlines.

Passengers on Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, India’s second biggest private airline, fell to 21.4% in April from 26% a year ago. Paramount Airways Pvt. Ltd’s share fell to 0.3% from 2.3%.

An analyst saw growth continue in step with the “overall direction of the economy", but yields will continue to remain under strain.

“The bigger airlines are looking at matching low-cost airline fares and low cost airlines are reluctant to raise fares because that defeats their model," said Kapil Kaul of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

“When it comes to Q1, there are no seats available in the railways, so the next best option is air and lower price is aiding it (growth)."


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