Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Before Coronavirus Stalled Air Travel, Traffic Jumped To Three-Month High

Air passenger traffic surged in February, just a month before travel restrictions kicked in to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The number of passengers flying Indian airlines rose at 9 percent year-on-year in February, the fastest pace in three months, according to data compiled from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Nearly 1.23 crore passengers took to the skies during the month.
The surge in traffic came as airlines offered discounts on fares to boost demand in the seasonally weak month.
Passenger growth in March, however, will suffer as the world’s fastest growing aviation market placed curbs on travel amid mounting coronavirus cases. India has also banned airlines from boarding passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the U.K. from March 18.
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., the operator of the nation’s largest market, has issued a profit warning guiding that its earnings for the ongoing quarter will be significantly impacted due to coronavirus-led disruption. Daily bookings are down 15-20 percent week-on-week over the past few days, IndiGo’s parent had told the bourses last week. January and February saw a modest impact from coronavirus as planes were redeployed in other markets, it said.
18/03/20 Soumeet Sarkar/Bloomberg|Quint
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