Air passenger traffic in India fell by 33 percent in March from the previous month, reflecting the slump in the aviation sector following the nationwide lockdown.
Data released by regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shows that a little over 77 lakh people flew in March compared to about 1.15 crore in February.
In February, the traffic had grown by 8.98 percent.
The government suspended flight services in late March and the restriction was extended along with the second lockdown gets over on May 3.
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The drop reflected in the passenger load factor of the airlines. "The passenger load factor in the month of March 2020 has shown sharp decline due to suspension of air operations because of COVID-19 outbreak," the regulator said.
At the same time, IndiGo stretched its lead over the rest in the industry.
Its market share in March was up, at 48.9 percent in March, from 48 percent a month earlier. SpiceJet regained some of the lost ground, with a market share of 16 percent in March. In February, its market share had fallen to 15.3 percent, from 16.6 percent in January.
Vistara and Air India saw their part of the pie reducing.