Domestic travel recovery continue; Mumbai airport reintroduces five flights to Tier-2 cities
July witnessed a 132% year on year growth in domestic passenger traffic as Covid-19 cases remained low in the month, revealed rating agency ICRA. Domestic passenger traffic grew around 56 -57% (at around 48-49 lakh) in July, compared to around 31.1 lakh in June 2021. According to ICRA, the airlines’ capacity deployment for July was 90% higher than July 2020 (47,200 departures in July this year against 24,770 departures in July last year).
Kinjal Shah, vice president and co-group head, ICRA, “For July 2021, the average daily departures were at approximately 1,500, which is significantly higher than the average daily departures of around 800 in July 2020, and higher than around 1,100 in June 2021. Though it remains lower than around 2,000 in April 2021. The average number of passengers per flight during July 2021 was 104, against an average of 98 passengers per flight in June 2021.”
“Though the recovery continued in July 2021, there is continued stress on demand, driven largely by the second wave of the pandemic, limiting travel to only necessary travel, while both leisure and business travel have been curtailed due to various state-wide restrictions, despite the decline in infections,” Shah added.
While the scheduled international operations have been further suspended till August 31 the international passenger traffic for Indian carriers under the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) is estimated at around 2.1 lakh, seeing growth of approximately 43%.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) too witnessed a surge in passenger travel to the Tier 2 market in July. Sectors such as Hyderabad, Goa and Ahmedabad (top three tier-II sectors that performed) saw 7%, 5% and 5% passenger traffic respectively to these cities. Indigo, Air India and GoAir (the top three airlines) catered to over 3.5lakh, 80,000 and 46,000 passengers respectively.
Looking at this upsurge in passenger traffic and easing of travel restrictions CSMIA reintroduced five domestic routes to Tier-2 cities like Bareilly, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Ajmer and Porbandar.
IndiGo has started operating four weekly flights to Bareilly and five weekly flights to Tirupati. Air India will operate three flights to Visakhapatnam and five flights to Tirupati and SpiceJet will operate daily flights to Porbandar and three flights to Ajmer.