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New Delhi: Air passenger traffic in India rose for the second straight week as a fall in covid-19 cases and easing of curbs by most states led more people to take to the skies.

The average number of daily fliers rose to 83,000 for the week ended 12 June, from 75,000 fliers a week before, which marked the first increase in 10 weeks, brokerage firm ICICI Securities said in a report.

According to the report, more than 10,000 people flew on domestic flights on 12 June. The average number of departures rose to 1,003 during the week, from 907 in the previous week. The number of fliers per departure was, however, unchanged at 83.

“Average daily fliers grew 11% week-on-week due to 10.5% growth in departures, while the number of flyers per departure remained flat," the report said.

Industry experts said the growth marks a modest recovery and most passengers remain wary of taking flights during the pandemic, though public sentiment for travel has improved. “There are very initial signs of recovery with reduced caseloads and relaxation of restrictions . Traffic and booking volumes have almost doubled from a couple of weeks back," said Rajiv Subramanian, vice president at Cleartrip.

“Share of round trips and advance bookings has also seen an uptick. Both these metrics have been good lead indicators of consumer confidence in the past 12 months or so. The recovery should continue with more cities seeing reduced caseloads," he said.

Overall, domestic air traffic is expected to fall this fiscal compared to the pre-pandemic levels due to the adverse impact of the second wave of the pandemic that is expected to cause revenue losses of about 900 crore for the aviation sector, rating agency Crisil said in a report last week.

“Given this backdrop, we now expect traffic volumes this fiscal to be about 60% of fiscal 2020 levels and recovery to pre-pandemic levels happening only by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023," said Manish Gupta, senior director, Crisil Ratings.

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