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NEW DELHI : Domestic air passenger traffic saw a 27.15% growth last month during the festive season last month following a decline in covid cases that gave confidence to more people to travel by air. 

Around 8.99 million passengers took to the skies in October, compared to 7.07 million in September, according to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The air passenger traffic recorded during October suppressed the 7.82 million passengers' figure reported during March. The onset of the second covid wave in the months that followed lead to a steep fall in passenger traffic following which air passenger traffic has recorded growth every month since June.

The passenger load factor (PLF) of major scheduled commercial airlines stood between 68.7-82.2% during October, compared to 63-78.8% in September, and 60.3-79.6% in August. PLF measures the capacity utilization of airlines.

IndiGo ferried 4.81 million passengers during October, to report 53.5% market share and 78% PLF in October. The airline has carried 3.97 million passengers in September. 

Air India carried 1.06 million passengers during the month, recording 76% PLF and a market share of 11.8%. The national carrier had carried 0.85 million passengers, last month. 

SpiceJet carried 0.81 million passengers during October, registering an 82.2% PLF and a 9% market share. The airline had carried 0.60 million passengers last month, while GoFirst (formerly GoAir) catered to 0.88 million passengers, reporting a 75.4% PLF and 9.8% market share. The Wadia Group-led airline had ferried 0.58 million passengers in September. 

Vistara and AirAsia India ferried about 0.70 million and 0.57 million passengers, respectively, during October. Vistara’s PLF was 75.3%, while its market share was 7.8%.

AirAsia India, whose PLF stood at 73.7%, recorded a market share of 6.4% during the month.

Vistara and AirAsia India ferried about 0.61 million and 0.41 million passengers, respectively, during September.

Indian airlines were allowed to operate only up to 85% of their pre-covid capacity during the first half of October, with the cap being removed from 18 October.

Meanwhile, the average number of daily fliers rose to 364,000 during the week ending on 20 November, up from 352,000 a week before, broking firm ICICI Securities said on Monday.

The average number of departures increased to 2,712 during the week from 2,678 in the previous week, while the number of fliers per departure improved to 134 from 131 a week ago, the report added.

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