Passengers wait in line for a security check at the airport in Mumbai (Photographer: Santosh Verma/Bloomberg New)

Indian Aviation Records Double Digit Passenger Growth For Nearly Fourth Straight Year

India registered double-digit domestic air passenger growth for the forty fifth straight month in May even as volumes moderated in recent months.

The International Air Transport Association said that the country’s revenue passenger kilometre--a measure of passenger volumes--rose 16.6 percent in May. Seasonally-adjusted passenger volume in India has fallen back in recent months alongside some mixed signs on the economic front, it said.

Passenger demand has continued to be supported by strong growth in the number of airport connections within the country too; 22 percent more airport-pairs are scheduled to operate in 2018 compared to last year
IATA Statement

IATA said that this year growth is expected to slow slightly due to reduced stimulus from lower airfares and a mixed economic backdrop. It is estimated that India and China account for around three-quarters of the slowdown in overall domestic RPK growth between May and April. Yet, the airline trade association expects 2018 numbers to surpass the historical average passenger growth.

As expected, we saw some moderation, as rising airline costs are reducing the stimulus from lower airfares. In particular, jet fuel prices are expected to be up nearly 26 per cent this year compared to 2017.
Alexandre de Juniac, Director General, International Air Transport Association

Last month, IATA projected an industry profit of $33.8 billion for this year. “But our buffer against shocks is just $7.76. That’s the average profit per passenger that airlines will make this year--a narrow 4.1 percent net margin,” Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.

Striking a note of caution, he said there are storm clouds on the horizon, including rising cost inputs, growing protectionist sentiment and the risk of trade wars as well as geopolitical tensions. “Aviation is the business of freedom, liberating people to lead better lives,” de Juniac said. “Governments that recognise this will take steps to ensure aviation is economically sustainable. And aviation works best when borders are open to trade and people.”

IATA represents nearly 290 airlines that account for around 82 percent of global air traffic.

Also read: Air Passenger Traffic Grows The Fastest In 32 Months