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

World’s Fastest-Growing Aviation Market Is Slowing

Air passenger traffic growth fell to its lowest in more than four-and-a-half years in January, the end of holiday season, as airlines increased fares to offset higher costs.

The number of domestic fliers rose 9 percent on a yearly basis in January, the slowest pace in 56 months, according to data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. That's the first sub-10 percent reading since July 2014.

World’s Fastest-Growing Aviation Market Is Slowing

Airlines increase fares to recoup losses suffered in earlier quarters because of higher fuel costs and a weaker rupee. Demand suffered as airlines chose to fly more empty seats than lower fares. That, according to CAPA, will slow down growth further.

In the last four years, air passenger growth in India was 20 percent on an average, making it the world’s fastest-growing aviation market. The South Asian aviation consultant expects it grow at 14 percent in 2019-20 against the estimate of 18 percent in the ongoing financial year 2018-19.