Domestic passenger traffic dipped by 60% in May compared to April: DGCA
Nearly 2.1 million domestic passengers travelled by air in May, over 63% lower when compared to April when 5.7 million passengers had travelled, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data released on Thursday.
The dip in passenger traffic came at a time when the country was battling a massive surge in Covid-19 cases due to the second wave of infections.
Domestic flights were suspended last year in March and resumed with limited capacity on May 25, 2020 after a gap of two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At present, Indian airlines are allowed to operate a maximum of 50 per cent 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-19 domestic flights 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.
According to the DGCA data, among private carriers IndiGo catered to 1.6 million passengers in May, a 55.3% share of the domestic market, SpiceJet flew 0.199 million passengers, accounting for a 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 indicated. 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.