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NEW DELHI : Domestic air passenger traffic saw significant growth last month with the easing of lockdown restrictions following the decline in covid-19 cases, which gave confidence to more people to travel by air. 

Around 6.7 million passengers took to the skies in August, compared to 5.01 million in July, according to latest data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

However, domestic air passenger traffic was way below the 7.83 million seen in March. Subsequently, with the onset of the second wave of covid infections, domestic airlines recorded a steep fall in passenger traffic, before witnessing a recovery in June.

Passenger load factors (PLF) of major scheduled commercial airlines were between 60.3%-79.6% during August, up from 53.6%-74.6% in July.

PLF measures the capacity utilization of transport services, including airlines.

During August, IndiGo ferried 3.82 million passengers to report a 57% market share and 74% PLF.

Air India’s domestic load factor stood at 68.4%, with a market share of 13.2%, as it ferried 0.89 million passengers.

SpiceJet carried 0.58 million passengers during the month registering a 79.6% PLF and 8.7% market share, while GoAir catered to 0.46 million passengers, recording a 6.8% market share and 67.6% PLF.

Vistara and AirAsia India ferried 0.56 million and 0.35 million passengers, respectively, during August.  While Vistara’s PLF stood at 71.3%, its market share stood at 8.3%. AirAsia India, whose PLF stood at 60.3%, recorded a market share of 5.2% during the month.

Indian airlines are currently allowed to operate upto 72.5% of their pre-covid capacity. 

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