People walk through the arrival area at the Bangalore International Airport in Bangalore, India, (Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg News)

Domestic Air Passenger Traffic Rises 9.1% In January

Domestic air passenger traffic rose 9.1 percent in January, with the country's airlines carrying 125.08 lakh passengers during the month, according to data released by Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Domestic air passenger traffic in January last year was 114.65 lakh.

In January, the market share of no-frills airline IndiGo fell to 42.5 percent and that of national carrier Air India dropped to 12.2 percent, showed the latest data by the aviation regulator.

In December last year, IndiGo's market share was 43.2 percent while Air India's market share was 12.4 percent.

The January data of the DGCA showed that the market share of SpiceJet Ltd., Jet Airways India Ltd., GoAir, Air Asia, Vistara stood at 13.3 percent, 11.9 percent, 8.7 percent, 5.3 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

In December last year, these five airlines had market share of 12.3 percent, 12.2 percent, 8.8 per cent, 5.3 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

About the 9.1 percent growth of domestic air traffic in January, Sharat Dhall, the chief operating officer of Yatra.com said, "The percentage of growth has been affected due to unprecedented flight cancellations by various airlines impacting the overall capacity and hence market growth adversely."

"Additionally, with January marking the end of the holiday season, there is a dip in travel, but we expect a pick-up in demand towards the end of February and March with the semester breaks in schools as well as long weekends like Maha Shivratri and Holi," he said.

Last month, a total of 917 passenger-related complaints were received by the scheduled domestic airlines. The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of January, 2019 has been around 0.73, the DGCA data showed.

Also read: IndiGo To Cancel 30 Flights Daily This Month

As many as 3,156 passengers were denied boarding and 37,819 fliers were impacted by flight cancellations in January. Further, 2,64,724 people were affected by flight delays last month.

Shilpa Bhatia, chief sales and revenue officer at SpiceJet, said, "In January 2019 we recorded a passenger load factor of 90.9 percent. This is the 46th month in a row that SpiceJet, among the major scheduled carriers, has flown with the highest loads in the Indian skies."

Passenger Load Factor measures the capacity utilisation in an airline.

Also read: Empty Seats Rise For Indian Airlines First Time In 10 Quarters

The PLF of a plane is calculated by first dividing the number of passengers to number of seats in a plane, and then multiplying the resulting number by 100.