The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) declared that air passenger traffic in India has more than halved in October in comparison to the year-ago period. The civil aviation regulator said that Indian airlines carried 52.7 lakh passengers last month, which is 57.2 per cent less than the air passenger traffic recorded in the same month last year.
This is, however, an improvement from the air passenger traffic seen in September when 39.43 lakh fliers travelled via air. This means a 33.67 per cent month-on-month increase in air passenger traffic.
Passenger load factor (PLF) was recorded at 61-74 per cent during October. While this was an improvement from 57-73 per cent in September, it was significantly lower than 76-90 per cent seen in October last year. PLF is used to gauge the capacity utilisation of transport services, including air transport.
IndiGo's PLF during October was at 68.2 per cent, compared to 65.4 per cent in September, carrying 29.3 lakh passengers. The biggest airline in India, IndiGo held a market share of 55 per cent.
SpiceJet carried around 7 lakh passengers during October, registering a PLF of 74 per cent, slightly up from 73 per cent seen in the previous month. It had a market share of 13.4 per cent.
State-run carrier Air India had a market share of 9.4 per cent and the passenger load factor of 62.1 per cent. It carried 4.9 lakh domestic passengers.
Vistara, a Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines joint venture, reported a passenger load factor of 65.2 per cent and market share of 6.4 per cent. It carried 3.4 lakh passengers. Meanwhile, AirAsia India, jointly run by Tata Sons and AirAsia Berhad, posted 63 per cent load factor and 7.1 per cent market share. Around 4 lakh people travelled with the airline in October.
GoAir posted 61.8 per cent passenger load factor and 7.5 per cent market share. The Wadia Group-controlled airline carried another 4 lakh flier last month.
Earlier this month, DGCA had increased the cap on flight capacity to 70 per cent. This was the third hike in operational capacity since flight operations in May after a two-month break on account of coronavirus pandemic.