Air passenger traffic extends double-digit growth to 24th month in July 2016

Domestic airlines carried 8.51 million passengers in July, recording more than 26 per cent year-on-year growth in passengers carried, continuing the record double-digit growth for the 24th consecutive month, helped in large measure by low fuel prices and promotional fares.

For the January-July 2016 period, domestic airlines carried 56.09 million passengers, recording a growth of 23.01 per cent compared with the 45.60 million passengers carried during the corresponding period of the previous year, traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines to the Directorate General of Civil aviation (DGCA) showed.

Low-cost carrier Indigo remained in the lead carrying more than 3.38 million passengers in July 2016 and increasing its market share by more than 5.01 percentage points in July from the previous month.

While full service carriers like Vistara and Air India witnessed a drop in their market shares by 7.14 percentage points and 4.51 percentage points, respectively in July compared to previous month.

SpiceJet recorded the highest number of passengers per flight or passenger load factor (PLF) for the 15th consecutive month at 92 per cent in July, although its market share contracted by 7.87 percentage points compared to the previous month.

Go air recorded the second highest PLF, at 90.3 per cent, for July, followed by Air Asia India (85.7 per cent), Air Pegasus (84 per cent), Jet Airways (83.8 per cent), Indigo (83.6 per cent), Jet Lite (80.9 per cent), Air Costa (80.8 per cent), Air India (80.3 per cent), True Jet (79.4 per cent) and Vistara (75.2 per cent).

''The passenger load factor in the month of July 2016 has almost remained constant compared to previous month primarily due to the end of tourist season,'' DGCA said in its report.

The second quarter of the fiscal year starting July is considered the lean season for travel, when most airlines lower their fares to attract passengers.

However, airlines managed to retain passenger load factor for the month almost constant compared to the previous month.

The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for July 2016 has been 0.70 per cent.

During July 2016, scheduled domestic airlines received a total of 948 passenger related complaints while the number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried in the month stood at 1.1.

All the scheduled domestic airlines complied with the mandatory capacity deployment requirements contained in the Route Dispersal Guidelines during July 2016.