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Business News/ News / India/  Air passenger traffic likely declined 29% month-on-month in April: Icra
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Air passenger traffic likely declined 29% month-on-month in April: Icra

Icra expects domestic air traffic to reach its pre-covid levels by fiscal year 2023, while international air traffic will hit pre-covid normalcy only by FY24 because of sluggish demand from leisure and business travellers and a surge in new variants of the virus

Domestic passenger traffic has reached lower than the October 2020 levels (ANI)Premium
Domestic passenger traffic has reached lower than the October 2020 levels (ANI)

New Delhi: Domestic air passenger traffic is expected to have declined by 29% month-on-month in April to about 56 lakh due to the surge in coronavirus cases and the subsequent travel restrictions imposed by states, rating agency Icra Ltd said in a report on Wednesday.

"With this, the domestic passenger traffic has reached lower than the October 2020 levels," the report said.

"The airlines’ capacity for April 2021 was lower by about 15% compared to March 2021 (about 60,300 departures in April against about 71,300 departures in March 2021), indicating the declining demand scenario stemming from averseness of consumers to travel due to the rise in Covid-19 infections," the report added.

Icra expects domestic air traffic to reach its pre-covid levels by fiscal year 2023, while international air traffic will hit pre-covid normalcy only by FY24 because of sluggish demand from leisure and business travellers and a surge in new variants of the virus.

“The number of flights departing has also gradually declined from February 2021 onwards, with the average daily departures close to about 2,000 in April 2021, down from about 2,300 in March 2021 and February 2021. The average number of passengers per flight during April 2021 was 93, against an average of 109 passengers per flight in March 2021," said Kinjal Shah, Vice President and Co-Group Head at Icra..

"The gradual decline depicts the stress on demand, driven largely by the second wave of Covid-19 and passenger fear against travelling," it added.

India has seen an unabated rise in fresh covid cases in the last few days. As many as 382,315 more people tested positive for covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload to 20, 665 ,148 according to government data.

The second wave of covid-19 infections, which has brought the country’s healthcare system to its knees, could precipitate a collapse of the domestic aviation sector, aviation consultancy firm Capa India said in a report on Monday.

This will also accelerate consolidation in the industry, resulting in two to three airlines operating in the domestic sector, down from six major airlines and three regional carriers that currently operate in the space, it added.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rhik Kundu
Rhik writes about the Indian economy and its crucial indicators. He is constantly navigating corporates, decoding policies, and dabbling with everything in between.
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Published: 05 May 2021, 05:06 PM IST
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