Domestic air passenger traffic grows nearly five-fold in May

Domestic air passenger traffic has witnessed a strong recovery with nearly 1.20 crore people taking to the skies in May, with volume growth of nearly 500% year-on-year, as per data released by the aviation regulator, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Of the total 1.20 crore passengers flown by the domestic carriers in May 2022, market leader IndiGo transported around 70 lakh with 57.9% market share, followed by Mumbai-based carrier Go First with 12.76 lakh passengers, accounting for 10.8% of the total domestic traffic.  

IndiGo, the market leader, transported about 70 lakh of the 1.20 crore passengers flown by domestic carriers in May 2022, accounting for 57.9% of the market share.

The two full-service carriers — Air India and Vistara, which are part of the Tata Group along with no-frills AirAsia India — carried 8.23 lakh and 9.83 lakh passengers, respectively, in the previous month.  

AirAsia India flew 6.86 lakh passengers across the domestic routes in May 2022. Budget carrier SpiceJet delivered the highest load factor at 89.1% followed by Go First at 86.5%, as per the monthly data. 

Go First transported 12.76 lakh passengers, or 10.8% of all domestic traffic.

In terms of On-Time Performance (OTP), AirAsia India had its maximum number of flights operating on time with an OTP of 90.8% across four key airports. Vistara had the second-best OTP at 87.5% in the month under review, DGCA said.  

The improvement in domestic aviation traffic comes against the backdrop of the Covid-19 threat receding. While Mumbai and Delhi have recently witnessed an uptick in the number of infections, travel curbs are unlikely to be imposed as the hospitalisation rate continues to remain low.

Passenger Load Factor or Seat Factor is a measure of how much of an airline’s passenger carrying capacity is used or the average percentage of seats filled in an aircraft. 

Last month’s domestic air traffic numbers are also close to the levels seen in May 2019, when Indian carriers ferried 12.2 million passengers. With the second wave of Covid-19 at its peak in 2021, the air passenger traffic on domestic routes was at a mere 2.1 million in May 2021.

The overall passenger traffic is expected to climb up to 96-97% of the pre-pandemic levels in the financial year 2022-23, rating agency ICRA said earlier this month.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation publishes monthly on-time performance of domestic airlines from four metro airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.