Domestic Air Traffic Grew In August But Still Far Below Pre-Pandemic Levels
An Air India Ltd. aircraft stand on the tarmac at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Domestic Air Traffic Grew In August But Still Far Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

India’s airlines flew more passengers in August since domestic travel resumed three months back after the nation eased lockdown curbs. Yet, that’s lower than the pre-pandemic levels.

About 28.32 lakh passengers took to the skies last month, a rise of 34.4% over July, according to data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. That compares with a 6.1% month-on-month growth in July. On a year-on-year basis, however, air traffic fell 75.99% in August.

India, the world’s fastest growing aviation market, had barred all passenger flights on March 25 in light of the coronavirus lockdown. Domestic operations resumed on May 25, but international air travel continues to remain suspended.

Domestic airlines, according to information shared by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, are reporting 2,561 flight movements a day, with more than 1.18 lakh passengers flying daily.

A look at passenger growth of major Indian airlines in August (month-on-month basis):

  • IndiGo’s air traffic growth stood at 32.23% as it flew 16.82 lakh passengers.
  • SpiceJet’s air traffic growth stood at 18.12% as it carried 3.91 lakh passengers.
  • 2.78 lakh passengers flew Air India in the reported month, a growth of 45.54%.
  • GoAir’s passenger growth stood at 68.35% as it carried 1.33 lakh people.
  • Passenger growth of Air Asia stood at 47.69% as it flew 1.92 lakh people.
  • 1.42 lakh passengers flew Vistara, a growth of 61.36%.

Passenger load factor, a measure of capacity utilisation or percentage of seats filled, improved month-on-month in August. “The passenger load factor in August showed some recovery due to increased demand after opening of lockdown,” the DGCA said.

A look at passenger load factor of major Indian airlines in August (month-on-month basis):

  • IndiGo’s passenger load factor stood at 65.6% in August versus 60.2% in July.
  • GoAir’s passenger load factor was at 61% in August against 50.5% in July.
  • Seat occupancy of SpiceJet improved to 76% in August from 70% in July.
  • AirAsia’s passenger load factor stood at 64.4% in August versus 56.2% in July.
  • Vistara’s passenger load factor improved to 68.3% in August from 53.1% in July.
  • Air India’s load factor improved to 58.6% in August from 45.5% in July.

While IndiGo and SpiceJet saw a slight drop in market share, other airlines gained.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.