India’s domestic travel demand up by around 14% this year

India’s domestic travel demand up by around 14% this year

New Delhi: Domestic air traffic demand in India grew by around 14% with the airlines enjoying an average load factor of almost 79% in May compared to last year, even as the global traffic rose by 6.8%.

“India’s domestic demand was 13.8% above previous-year’s levels against a capacity expansion 19.9%. The load factor of 78.3% is consistent with the global average of 79.4," global airlines body International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its latest report.

While the May results showed a 6.8% rise in global passenger traffic over May 2010, this was 4% higher than the beginning of the year.

“We saw positive developments for the air transport volumes in May. But there are risks associated with political unrest in the Middle East and the European currency crisis," IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani said.

“We still expect the industry to make $4 billion this year. That is a pathetic 0.7% margin and another shock could alter the industry’s fortunes dramatically. It is another tough year for a very fragile industry," he added.

In China, domestic demand was 10.4% higher than in last May, with load factors touching 82%.

On the global passenger market, the IATA report said the “fastest international growth" was witnessed in Latin America where air carriers saw a growth of 21.3% compared to May 2010. The airlines of this region also experienced the fastest capacity expansion at 15.2%.

Asia-Pacific carriers recorded an expansion of 4.7%, which was considerably below the global average of 8%. This was due to continuing weakness in the post- earthquake/tsunami Japanese market, it said.