The dip in passenger numbers came at a time when the country was battling a spike in Covid-19 cases due to the second wave.
The dip in passenger numbers came at a time when the country was battling a spike in Covid-19 cases due to the second wave.

Domestic air traffic plunges 63% in May: DGCA

  • The DGCA data said that among private carriers, IndiGo carried 1.6 million passengers in May, making up nearly 55% of the domestic market. SpiceJet flew 199,000 passengers, accounting for 9.4% share of the market.
By Gireesh Chandra Prasad, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2021 07:49 AM IST

Around 2.1 million domestic passengers travelled by air in May, which is over 63% lower than the 5.7 million who travelled in April, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Thursday.

The DGCA data said that among private carriers, IndiGo carried 1.6 million passengers in May, making up nearly 55% of the domestic market. SpiceJet flew 199,000 passengers, accounting for 9.4% share of the market.

The occupancy rate or load factor of the six major Indian airlines was between 39.3 %and 64% in May, it stated.

The occupancy rate at SpiceJet was 64 %in May, the DGCA noted.

The occupancy rates for IndiGo, Vistara, GO FIRST (previously known as Go Air), Air India and AirAsia India were 51.2%, 40.9%, 63.3%, 39.3% and 44.4% respectively, it added.

The dip in passenger numbers came at a time when the country was battling a spike in Covid-19 cases due to the second wave.

Domestic flights were suspended last year in March and resumed with limited capacity since May 25, 2020 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. At present Indian airlines are allowed to operate a maximum of 50% of their pre-pandemic domestic flights.

The civil aviation ministry last month also said it will cut down seating capacity from 80% to 50% of pre-Covid domestic flights’ capacity from June 1. “This decision has been taken in view of the sudden surge in the number of active Covid-19 cases across the country, decrease in passenger traffic and passenger load factor (occupancy rate)”, the ministry’s order stated.

The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the pandemic.

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