New Delhi: The domestic air passenger traffic declined for the third consecutive month in August even though on a year-on basis it grew. Hit by market uncertainties in a slowing economy and a lean travel season, domestic scheduled carriers carried 11.79 million passengers last month, compared with 11.90 million in July, showed data issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday.
The local carriers had flown 12.02 million passengers in June. On a year-on-year basis, passenger air traffic grew 3.8% from 11.35 million a year ago. Air passenger traffic in India grew 3.24% in the first eight months of 2019.
"The passenger load factor in the month of Aug 2019 has shown declining trend compared to previous month primarily due to the end of tourist season," DGCA said in a statement.
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd’s IndiGo continued its market dominance of the Indian skies, carrying nearly one in every two passengers even as its market share fell to 47% from 47.8% in July. The Delhi-based airline carried 5.54 million passengers, registering a 47% market share, while SpiceJet flew nearly 1.83 million passengers, notching up a 15.5% market share. The Ajay Singh-owned airline’s market share was unchanged at 15.5% from July. Air India improved its share by 40 basis points to 12.8%, flying nearly 1.41 million passengers during the period.
"For the industry overall, domestic passenger traffic is forecast to grow 6-8% this fiscal, mainly due to non-revival of Jet Airways," said a CRISIL research report this month on the domestic aviation industry, titled, 'The ascent of profitability'.
"This is way below the 14% growth logged in fiscal 2019 and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18% seen in the last five years, but is higher than our earlier estimate of 2% growth and factors an upward revision in capacity addition plans of LCCs (low cost carriers)," the report added.
India's domestic commercial air travel capacity is expected to be subdued in the remaining months of the calendar year abetted by the grounding of Boeing 737 Max airplanes, apart from the capacity loss due to closure of Jet Airway's services. The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was grounded by the DGCA on 13 March after aviation regulators worldwide did the same following two fatal crashes. According to DGCA officials, the Boeing 737 Max is not expected to fly before early 2020.