India’s domestic air traffic fell 71 per cent in May as compared to the corresponding period in 2019. This fall has been credited by global airlines body International Air Transport Association (IATA) to the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant across the globe.
"India's domestic traffic fell 71.0 per cent in May compared to May 2019 amid the emergence of the new and more contagious “Delta” variant. This compared to a 42 per cent decline registered in April versus the same month two years ago," the IATA said in a statement.
Passenger traffic is measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), which is calculated by multiplying the number of seats that were filled with passengers to the distance travelled by the flight.
Domestic passenger traffic fell across the globe. The IATA said that domestic air traffic was 23.9 per cent lower in May than the figures of May 2019. As for international air traffic, it was 85.1 per cent less in May as compared to the corresponding month in 2019.
Domestic flights were suspended in India for about two months last year from March 25 to May 24 due to the emergence of coronavirus and the subsequent national lockdown. Since May 2020, the aviation sector saw a gradual recovery but the second wave of COVID-19 hit the country in April and May this year. The second wave dealt a heavy blow to the recovering aviation industry.
Currently, the Indian carriers are operating around 1,400 daily domestic flights.
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