Millennium Post

Domestic air passenger traffic flies 24% in February

Marking a growth of over 24 per cent in passengers number, domestic airlines flew 74.76 lakh people in February with majority of the carriers recording over 80 per cent seat occupancy.

In February last year, the carriers had ferried 60.16 lakh passengers. Latest data compiled by aviation regulator DGCA showed that no-frills carrier IndiGo’s market share stood at 36.8 per cent in February while that of Jet Airways was 18.4 per cent.

Overall, the carriers ferried 74.76 lakh passengers, an increase of 24.27 per cent compared to the year-ago period, a senior DGCA official said. The load factor -- an indicator of seat occupancy -- of majority of the carriers, including IndiGo and SpiceJet, was more than 80 per cent, the official noted. Last month, the market share of Air India stood at 15.4 per cent, followed by SpiceJet (13.1 per cent), GoAir (8 per cent), JetLite (2.8 per cent), AirAsia (2.2 per cent), Vistara (2 per cent) and Air Costa (0.8 per cent). The market share of Air Pegasus and Trujet was at 0.3 per cent each, as per DGCA. In January, local carriers had flown 76.55 lakh people. According to the official, a total of 151.31 lakh passengers were ferried by airlines during January-February. This represents an increase of over 23 per cent compared with 122.61 lakh passengers seen a year ago. 

Meanwhile,  domestic airlines will operate 14,869 flights every week during the summer schedule starting from March 27, an increase of nearly 19 per cent compared to the year-ago period, as carriers ramp up their capacities. The number of departures per week in the summer schedule during 2015 stood at 12,533 flights. The summer schedule extends from the last Sunday of March to the last Saturday of October. It starts from March 27. However, this time around, the scheduled airlines would operate from 77 airports compared to 81 previously. The carriers would not be flying from four airports -- Nanded (Maharashtra), Mysore (Karnataka), Bhavnagar and Porbandar (in Gujarat). A senior official at aviation regulator DGCA on Friday said 14,869 departure flights are to be operated every week by the local carriers during this year’s summer schedule. The substantial increase in flights is mainly on account of airlines enhancing their capacities and such a rise during summer schedule has never been seen before, he noted. The summer schedule of Air India, Alliance Air, Jet Airways, JetLite, Indigo, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia, Vistara, Air Costa, Air Pegasus and Trujet have been approved. IndiGo would operate 5,323 flights, the maximum for a single airline, during the latest summer schedule, compared to 4,291 last year. Jet Airways would have 3,100 flights, SpiceJet (1,934), GoAir (1,011), AirAsia (280) and Alliance Air (234).

Vistara would be operating as many as 334 flights in the current summer schedule compared to 176 last year. However, there is a decline in the number of flights to be operated during this year’s summer schedule by Air India and Air Costa. 

While the national carrier would operate 1,692 flights compared with 1,718 last year, Air Costa has reduced the total flights to 210 from 248 in the year-ago period. Many airlines, including IndiGo and Air India, are expanding their fleet to tap the growing demand. 
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