The country’s aviation industry clearly showed a downward spiral on Friday with passenger traffic data for November showing a 4.5 per cent dip from October, signalling a sombre mood of demand contraction in a slowdown. According to data released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, for November domestic schedule airlines carried 30.01 lakh passengers compared with 31.33 lakh passengers in October.
Experts say the downslide in the industry to high fares which in turn are linked to fare revisions caused by high fuel prices which have not been reversed despite a fall in aviation turbine fuel prices. “Airlines are yet to pass on the benefits accrued from reduced aviation turbine fuel prices to the passengers, and a minor reduction congestion surcharge will not get them passengers immediately,” an industry analyst with a global consulting firm.
Private carrier Jet Airways continued to be the market leader with a 19 per cent share and carried 5.70 lakh passengers. Air India (formerly Indian Airlines) continued to be at the second slot with 5.39 lakh passengers and a market share of 18 per cent.
The seat load factor or the average number of seats occupied in an aircraft per flight was the highest in low-cost carrier Indigo at 73 per cent followed by Kingfisher Red (formerly Air Deccan) which was at 65 per cent.