New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) India’s domestic air passenger traffic crashed by 11.8 per cent in March on a year-on-year basis, as per the data furnished by International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday.
The month saw the commencement of the first phase of lockdown and subsequent ceasing of all domestic passenger flight operations.
However, the fall in India’s domestic air passenger volume — measured in revenue passenger kilometres — was the lowest amongst major aviation markets such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.
In the period under consideration, the domestic passenger traffic fall in China was at 65.5 per cent, Japan at 55.8 and followed by that of US at 48.1 per cent.
The country’s domestic available passenger capacity — measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) — rose 0.7 per cent on a YoY basis.
India’s domestic air passenger volume is expected to further plunge in April due to the nationwide lockdown and the scare around the spread of Covid-19.
At present, no foreign or domestic passenger flight operations are allowed, though cargo operations are still underway.
“March was a disastrous month for aviation. Airlines progressively felt the growing impact of the Covid-19 related border closings and restrictions on mobility, including in domestic markets,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“Demand was at the same level it was in 2006 but we have the fleets and employees for double that. Worse, we know that the situation deteriorated even more in April and most signs point to a slow recovery.”