Domestic passenger traffic in India dropped 37% since January 1, with less than two lakh people flying daily, which set the traffic back to the volumes handled in July last year. In addition to this, an estimated 30% drop in air passengers is expected in the final quarter of this fiscal, according to aviation observers.
On January 11 – the daily traffic dipped to 1.8 lakh, shows ministry of civil aviation data. It’s a huge drop when compared to the traffic seen in the past two months. From November 6, 2021 to January 3, over 3 lakh domestic passengers boarded flights every single day.
This comes after India had reported positive growth in the month of November. Positive pandemic developments along with holiday season and lesser Covid restrictions pushed India’s November 2021 domestic air passenger traffic higher on a year-on-year basis.
The accelerated vaccination drive, as well as rising economic activity, supported the trend during that period.
Accordingly, the traffic rose 64.5 per cent over November 2020 level. However, it was down 17.1 per cent when compared to the corresponding period of 2019.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), India’s domestic air passenger volume on a year-on-year basis — measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) — was one of the highest amongst major aviation markets such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia, and the US. The country’s domestic available passenger capacity — measured in available seat kilometres (ASK) — was up 49 per cent YoY.