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Domestic air passenger traffic surged by 47.18 percent in June as compared to May, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on July 19.
The total passenger load in June stood at 31.13 lakh, whereas, the number of passengers carried by domestic airlines in May was stated to be 19.84 lakh.
The passenger traffic in June 2021 also marked a 56.9 percent growth as compared to the same month in the past year, the aviation sector regulator said.
Notably, the flight restrictions have been relatively eased as compared to June last year, when complete lockdowns were imposed by several states to curb the pace of COVID-19 transmission.
The air passenger traffic, after steadily recovering since late 2020, had dipped again between March and May due to the onset of COVID-19 second wave. In June, the numbers improved due to the decline in infection rate and the subsequent easing of curbs.
The highest passenger load factor, which measures the capacity utilisation of the flights, was recorded last month by SpiceJet at 71 percent. Go Air recorded a passenger load factor of 70.9 percent, followed by Star Air recording 65.9 percent and Air India 58.4 percent.
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The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for the month of June 2021 has been 2.90 percent, the DGCA said.
Sharing data for a six-month period, the regulator said 343.37 lakh passengers were carried by domestic airlines during January to June 2021 as against 351.78 lakh passengers carried during the corresponding period of previous year.
In terms of market share, IndiGo continued to maintain its lead. The no-frills carrier carried 17.02 lakh passengers, accounting for 54.7 percent of the total domestic air passenger traffic for the month. Air India was a distant second, with 5.14 lakh passengers and 16.5 percent market share.
However, both Air India and IndiGo lost market share in June as compared to May, as air traffic over popular routes like Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Bengaluru, etc rose and other airlines started to utilize more flights on these routes.
But the national carrier maintained its position in terms of market share for the second month in a row as SpiceJet stayed at third. SpiceJet's market share in June fell to 9 percent compared with 9.4 percent in the previous month and 12.3 percent in May.
The Wadia Group-controlled GoFirst, formerly known as GoAir's, clawed back some lost market share in June. The airline saw its market share rise to 8.3 percent after falling to 6.5 percent in May. Similarly, full-service carrier Vistara, operated by Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, saw its market share rise by 260 basis points from May to 7.2 percent in June.
IndiGo was the most punctual airline in May, with 98.5 percent on-time performance, followed by Air Asia at 98.2 percent, and SpiceJet at 96.7 percent, at four metro airports--Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.