Millennium Post

Domestic air traffic grows in double digit for 50th month

New Delhi: India recorded double-digit growth in domestic air passenger traffic for the 50th straight month in October as it continued to top the worldwide growth charts, an IATA report said Thursday.

The international grouping of airlines also noted that annual growth in industry-wide Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) recovered to 6.3 per cent in October even though the upward traffic trend has slowed over the past six months.

The worldwide RPK, an indicator of passenger growth, was at 5.5 per cent in September.

"India posted its 50th consecutive month of double-digit growth (15 per cent). While this was a slowdown from 19.6 per cent in September, the strong upward trend in traffic remains in place," the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

The trend is being supported by structural changes, including ongoing improvement in living standards, as well as large increases in the number of airport connections within the country. "The latter translates into time savings and has a similar stimulatory impact on demand as reductions in fares," it added.

According to the report, the slowing in the passenger volume growth trend also reflects a reduced boost to demand from lower airfares compared to what we have seen in recent years.

IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said that October's healthy performance is reassuring after the slower demand growth in September, some of which was attributable to weather-related disruptions.

"However, the bigger picture is that traffic growth has moderated compared to earlier in the year, reflecting a more mixed economic backdrop and reduced demand stimulation from lower fares," he noted.

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