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COVID-19 impact: 21.07 lakh people took domestic flights in July; 82.3% lower than July 2019

PTI     August 14, 2020

A total of 21.07 lakh people travelled by air domestically in July this year, which is 82.3 per cent lower than the corresponding period last year, civil aviation regulator DGCA said on Thursday. Moreover, the occupancy rate or load factor for five out of six major Indian airlines was between 50 and 60 per cent in June, it stated.

"The passenger load factor in the month of July 2020 has shown a sharp decline due to limited air operations because of COVID-19 outbreak," said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The occupancy rate in SpiceJet was 70 per cent in July this year. However, the occupancy rate for other major airlines IndiGo, GoAir, Vistara, AirAsia India and Air India in July stood at 60.2 per cent, 50.5 per cent, 53.1 per cent, 56.2 per cent and 45.5 per cent respectively, according to the DGCA.

India resumed domestic passenger flights on May 25 after a gap of two months amid the coronavirus pandemic. Indian airlines are allowed to operate a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. A total of 19.84 lakh passengers travelled domestically in June this year. Between May 25 and May 31, 2.81 lakh air passengers had travelled domestically, the DGCA noted.

The DGCA data mentioned that AirAsia India had the best on-time performance at four metro airports - Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai - at 98.1 per cent in July. IndiGo and Vistara were at number two and three at these four airports with 97.6 per cent and 95.9 per cent on-time performance, respectively, the regulator said.

In July, IndiGo carried 12.72 lakh domestic passengers, which is 60.4 per cent share of the total domestic market, the DGCA data noted. At number two, SpiceJet carried 3.31 lakh domestic passengers in June, indicating a 15.7 per cent share of the total market. Air India, AirAsia India, Vistara and GoAir carried 1.91 lakh, 1.3 lakh, 88,000 and 79,000 domestic passengers respectively in July, the DGCA noted.

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, leave without pay and firings of employees in order to conserve cash flow.

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