Aviation sector has been hit due to the COVID-19-related travel restrictions (Representative image)
The month of February saw 7.8 million (78.27 lakh) passengers travelling by domestic flights in India, said a report released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on March 17. The numbers are 36.71 percent lower as compared to the corresponding period last year.
A marginal increase vis-a-vis January was recorded, as 7.7 million (77.34 lakh) passengers travelled by domestic flights in the past month.
Cumulatively, a total of 155.61 lakh passengers travelled through domestic air routes in the last two months, lower than 251.50 lakh in January-February 2020.
In February 2021, IndiGo carried 42.38 lakh passengers - a 54.2 percent share of the total domestic market, the DGCA report on monthly air traffic stated.
SpiceJet flew 9.62 lakh passengers which is 12.3 percent share of the market, the report added.
Air India, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia India carried 9.16 lakh, 5.81 lakh, 5.4 lakh and 5.21 lakh passengers respectively in February, according to the data shared by the civil aviation regulator.
The occupancy rate or load factor of the six major Indian airlines was between 67.9 percent and 78.9 percent in February, it stated.
"The passenger load factor in the month of February 2021 has shown increasing trend compared to previous month primarily due to beginning of tourist season," the DGCA said.
The occupancy rate at SpiceJet was 78.9 percent in February, the regulator noted.
Meanwhile, the occupancy rates for IndiGo, Vistara, GoAir, Air India and AirAsia India were 74.4 percent, 73.7 percent, 76.5 percent, 78.3 percent and 67.9 percent respectively, according to the DGCA.
India resumed domestic passenger flights on May 25 last year after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Indian airlines are allowed to operate a maximum of 80 percent of their pre-COVID-19 domestic flights.
The DGCA data mentioned that in February, IndiGo had the best on-time performance of 94 percent at four metro airports - Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
AirAsia India and Vistara were at number two and three positions at these four airports in February with 85.2 percent and 82.9 percent on-time performance respectively, the regulator said.
The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leaves without pay and lay offs in order to tide over the crisis.(With PTI inputs)