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COVID-19 impact: 57.25 lakh domestic passengers travelled via air in April, 26.9% less than March, says DGCA

The drop in domestic air traffic in April is due to the second wave of the pandemic that has badly hit India and its aviation sector

Around 57.25 lakh domestic passengers travelled by air in April, which is 26.8 per cent lower than 78.22 lakh who travelled in March, Indian aviation regulator DGCA said on Tuesday. According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), 78.27 lakh people travelled by air within the country in February.

The drop in domestic air traffic in April is due to the second wave of the pandemic that has badly hit India and its aviation sector. While IndiGo carried 30.83 lakh passengers in April, a 53.9 per cent share of the total domestic market, SpiceJet flew 7.05 lakh passengers, which is 12.3 per cent share of the market, according to data shared by the DGCA.

Air India, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia India carried 6.85 lakh, 5.47 lakh, 3.11 lakh and 3.55 lakh passengers, respectively in April, it showed. The occupancy rate or load factor of the six major Indian airlines was between 52 per cent and 70.8 per cent in April, it stated.

"The passenger load factor in the month of April 2021 has shown decreasing trend compared to previous month due to end of vacation period," the DGCA said. The occupancy rate at SpiceJet was 70.8 per cent in April, the regulator noted.

The occupancy rates for IndiGo, Vistara, GoAir, Air India and AirAsia India were 58.7 per cent, 54.6 per cent, 65.7 per cent, 52 per cent and 64 per cent, 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 per cent of their pre-pandemic domestic flights. The DGCA data mentioned that in April, GoAir had the best on-time performance of 98.1 per cent at four metro airports -- Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

IndiGo and Vistara were at number two and three positions at these four airports in April with 97.4 per cent and 95.3 per cent 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 layoffs in order to tide over the crisis.

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