India's international air passenger volumes are likely to reach 96-97 per cent of the pre-Covid levels at 329-332 million this fiscal with June traffic already at 79 per cent of the levels seen before the outbreak of the pandemic, ratings agency Icra said on Thursday.
India's international air passenger traffic resumed from March 27 this year after a hiatus of two years.
Icra said it also expects international passenger volumes will surge ahead of the FY21 levels (pre-pandemic) by the end of March 2024.
While the recovery in domestic passenger traffic declined marginally to 91 per cent of pre-Covid levels in June at 21.1 million as compared to 98 per cent in April and May, respectively, the international air passenger traffic has seen a steady improvement in the last three months, reaching 79 per cent of the pre-Covid levels in June, the ratings agency said.
Overall, the air passenger traffic stood at 88 per cent of pre-Covid levels in June 2022, as per Icra.
''The steep ramp-up in international traffic during the last three months is supported by opening of major international destinations, easing of travel restrictions and increase in aircraft capacity deployment,'' said Abhishek Lahoti, Senior Analyst, Corporate Ratings, Icra.
Overall, Icra expects international passenger traffic to reach 90-92 per cent of the pre-Covid levels by the end of this fiscal and cross pre-Covid levels in FY24, Lahoti said, adding that the recovery of domestic passenger traffic moderated in June 2022 in line with historic trends.
The key reason for lower domestic traffic in June compared to May is due to the end of summer vacation, reopening of schools and consequently reduced leisure travel, he said.
''Notwithstanding this, we expect domestic air travel to recover back to pre-Covid levels in FY23. The overall passenger traffic is expected to reach 96-97 per cent of the pre-Covid levels (FY20 levels) to 329-332 million in FY23 on the back of the resilient domestic passenger traffic and the resumption of international commercial operations,'' Lahoti said.
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