ICRA Says Domestic Air Traffic Rose 19% Sequentially In November
A sign displaying gate information is displayed as travelers wait in line at the drop-off point to enter Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

ICRA Says Domestic Air Traffic Rose 19% Sequentially In November

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The domestic air travel demand is witnessing continued recovery, with passengers increasing 19% month-on-month to around 62 lakh in November, rating agency ICRA said on Friday.

However, the domestic air passenger volume declined on a yearly basis by more than half to around 52% in November 2020, ICRA said in a release.

The international passenger traffic declined 83% to around 3.6 lakh passengers in November in the absence of scheduled international operations, according to the rating agency.

Currently, only flights under special arrangements, such as air bubble pacts and the Vande Bharat Mission, are being operated on overseas routes.

The capacity deployed by the airlines during the previous month stood at 59% as against around 52% in October, it said adding that the same was at 46% in September.

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ICRA Vice-President Kinjal Shah said the number of flights departing has also increased to 2,065 as on Dec. 7, compared with 416 on May 25 when domestic air travel resumed after a hiatus of two months due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, .

"For November, the average daily departures were around 1,806, significantly lower than the average daily departures of 3,080 in November 2019, though better than around 1,574 in October 2020," she said.

The average number of passengers per flight during November was 115, against an average of 140 passengers per flight in November. It indicates that the local airlines operated at a seat factor of around 74% as compared with 89.6% a year ago, Shah said.

However, it stood higher compared with 69.1% in October 2020, she said.

Also read: Air Traffic Won’t Recover for at Least Three Years, S&P Says

The prices of jet fuel, or aviation turbine fuel, increased 4.6% in November and 9.1% in December, ICRA said. However, the December prices are still lower by 27.1% year-on-year, it added.

Prolonged shutdown of manufacturing activities in several countries and the subsequent impact of the pandemic on the global economic activity will keep the crude oil prices and thus the ATF prices low, ICRA stated.

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