India’s domestic air traffic up 18%


Domestic air passenger traffic in India continues its enviable growth with the country registering an 18 per cent increase this year compared to last year despite turbulence in the aviation sector. This translates to an additional 77 lakh domestic passengers flown in the period between January and October this year.

India has now turned into an apt example of the well-known industry fact that passenger traffic growth need not have a correlation with the financial health of airlines. Even as airlines in the country bleed, globally, India continued to hog the top slot as far as percentage passenger traffic growth in the domestic sector is concerned, according to a report in The Times of India.

According to the latest statistics released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), domestic airlines in India carried a total of 4.9 crore passengers in the Jan-Oct period this year as compared to 4.2 crore carried in 2010, making it a 18.3 per cent growth. Then again, International Airline Transport Association’s comparison of domestic passenger growth in six countries (Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, and the US) for September shows India in the lead with 18 per cent growth in revenue passenger-kilometres (it is the sum of total number of fare-paying passengers and the kilometre distance they travelled). India is followed by China at 10 per cent and Brazil at 7 per cent. India has had enviable domestic passenger traffic growth for some time now.

The DGCA data for the month of October also shows a marked growth in domestic seat factor as compared to September. That is, all airlines’ aircraft flew with less empty seats in October. For the month of October, IndiGo topped the chart with a 84 per cent seat factor, followed by Kingfisher Airlines at 79 per cent. But in September, Kingfisher Airlines was in the lead with 80 per cent seat factor, followed by JetLite with 72 per cent.