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Domestic air passenger traffic rises in September, says DGCA

The total passenger load in September stood at 70.66 lakh compared to 67.01 lakh in August, 50.07 lakh in July and 31.13 lakh in June, the civil aviation sector regulator said.

October 18, 2021 / 06:56 PM IST

Domestic air passenger traffic rose 5.4 percent month-on-month in September this year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on October 18.

The total passenger load in September stood at 70.66 lakh compared to 67.01 lakh in August, 50.07 lakh in July and 31.13 lakh in June.

The passenger traffic in September 2021 was 79 percent higher when compared to the same month in the past year, the aviation sector regulator said. In September last year, the number of passengers carried by domestic airlines stood at 39.43 lakhs.

Flight restrictions have been relatively eased as compared to September last year when complete lockdowns were imposed by several states to curb the pace of COVID-19 transmission.

Domestic airlines were allowed to operate at 60 percent capacity utilization in September 2020 compared to the 85 percent capacity utilization allowed in September 2021.

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The passenger load factor of major scheduled commercial airlines fell slightly in September as compared to the previous month. IndiGo's PLF fell to 73.6 percent in September from 74.0 percent in August.

Similarly, SpiceJet's PLF fell to 78.8 percent in September from 79.6 percent in August and Air India's PLF fell to 63.7 percent in September from 68.4 percent.

However, Vistara's PLF rose to 72.4 percent from 71.3 percent in the previous month and GoFirst's PLF rose to 74.1 percent in September from 67.6 percent in August. PLF measures capacity utilisation of transport services, including airlines.

In terms of market share, InterGlobe Aviation-operated IndiGo led the sector with a 56.2 percent market share in September. The airline last month carried 39.69 lakh passengers compared to 38.16 lakh passengers in the previous month.

Air India’s domestic market share fell for the third straight month in a row to 12.1 percent in September from 13.2 in August, 13.4 percent in July, and 16.5 percent in June, the airline carried 8.53 lakh passengers last month.

SpiceJet carried 6.02 lakh passengers, constituting an 8.5 percent market share, and GoFirst carried 5.80 lakh passengers, registering a 8.2 percent market share, during September.

Vistara and AirAsia India carried about 6.12 lakh passengers and 4.13 lakh passengers, respectively, during September. Vistara's market share rose to 8.7 percent in September from 8.3 percent in August, 8.1 percent in July and 7.2 percent in June. AirAsia India recorded a market share of 5.8 percent in September after seeing a market share of 3.3 percent in July.

IndiGo was the most punctual airline in September, with 95.5 percent on-time performance, followed by Air Asia at 95.1 percent, and GoFirst at 94.4 percent, at four metro airports--Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.

The government has during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic imposed a capacity cap to prevent the spread of infection. Scheduled international commercial flights remain suspended till October 30.

The restriction does not apply to international all-cargo flights, those under bilateral air bubble agreements, and those specifically approved by the aviation regulator.
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