2 min read.Updated: 03 May 2021, 04:16 PM ISTRhik Kundu
For the week ending on 1 May, the average number of departures declined sharply to 1,549 against 1,804 in the previous week
The number of fliers per departure declined to 81 from 84 in the respective weeks
For the sixth week in a row, fewer Indians took to the skies given the fresh surge in covid cases across the country.
Average number of daily fliers stood at 126,000 for the week ending on 1 May, down from 152,000 for the week ending on 24 April, and less than 193,000 in the week ended 17 April, according to a report by ICICI Securities.
Average passenger load factor (PLF), an airline industry metric that measures how much of an airline’s passenger carrying capacity is used, stood at about 50% during the week ending on 1 May, the report added.
For the week ending on 1 May, the average number of departures declined sharply to 1,549 against 1,804 in the previous week. The number of fliers per departure declined to 81 from 84 in the respective weeks.
"Average daily fliers dipped 17% week-on-week (w-o-w) led by 14% drop in departures and 3% drop in number of fliers per departures," the report said.
"Rising covid cases and increasing lockdown restriction from various states will remain an overhang on air traffic," it added.
India has seen an unabated rise in fresh covid cases in the last few days. As many as 368,147 more people tested positive for covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload to 19,925,604, said the Union health ministry on Monday morning.
As a result of the rising number of covid-19 cases, domestic air passenger traffic growth is likely to contract 15-17% in April as the spike in covid-19 infections and fresh restrictions imposed by states are set to delay recovery in travel demand, rating agency ICRA said in a recent report.
"Post resumption of airport operations from 25 May 2020, the ramp up in domestic passenger traffic had been steadily reaching 64% of previous year levels in February 2021. Considering a similar trend, domestic traffic was expected to grow at 125% in FY22 after an estimated degrowth of 61% in FY21," it added.
While passengers are apprehensive about air travel due to the surging number of cases, mandating negative covid-19 test reports for travel, imposing mandatory home quarantine measures and lockdown imposed by various states and Union territories are expected to adversely impact passenger traffic in the coming days. Delays in getting covid-19 tests and subsequent delays in results due to massive numbers of fresh cases is further expected to hamper the recovery of the aviation sector.
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