Travelers are screened by security personnel inside the newly inaugurated Terminal 2 building at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in Delhi.Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Indian Aviation Sees Strong Passenger Growth In Seasonally Weak Month Of July

Airline passenger traffic in India, the world’s fastest growing aviation market, jumped in a seasonally weak month of July on capacity addition and lower fares.

The number of passengers rose 21 percent on a yearly basis to nearly 1.16 crore in the month, according to data released by Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Growth in July travel was better than the holiday month of May.

The growth was primarily led by the country’s largest airline IndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. The budget carrier’s passenger growth stood at 31.5 percent – the highest in 18 months.

For IndiGo’s peers, July wasn’t that good a month.

  • Air India’s passenger traffic growth fell for the fourth straight month to 11 percent.
  • Jet Airways (India) Ltd.’s growth at 4.2 percent was higher than last month but below the industry average.
  • SpiceJet Ltd.’s passenger growth of 5.1 percent was the lowest in 33 months.

Passenger load factor, a measure of capacity utilisation, increased for all listed airlines last month. SpiceJet reported the highest passenger load factor of 93.8 percent in the industry, staying above 90 percent for the thirty-ninth month in a row.

IndiGo’s market share rose to more than 42 percent—the highest in 20 months. The market share of the other major operators remained more or less stable compared with the previous month.

IndiGo’s flight cancellation rate declined to 0.09 percent, the lowest in 28 months. The number of cancelled flights had spiked earlier in the year for the airline to due engine issues in some of its planes.