Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Green shoots in sky: October domestic air travel rises 34% over previous month

New Delhi: Domestic air travel is slowly and steadily reviving in India after being allowed to resume in May-end following a two month suspension. Last month saw 52.7 lakh people fly within the country. While this figure is 57% less than 1.2 crore of October 2019, it is almost one-third (33.7%) more than the 39.4 lakh domestic travellers in the immediately preceding month of September 2020.

IndiGo had 55.5% domestic market share last month, followed by SpiceJet’s 13.4%; Air India’s 9.4%; GoAir’s 7.5%; AirAsia India’s 7.1%; Vistara’s 6.4% and others accounting for the remaining 0.7%.

The two Tata JV airlines, which could soon be merged as AirAsia puling out is becoming increasingly likely, will have a combined market share of over 13% — bringing it almost at par with financially frail SpiceJet. Air India’s future could be decided by the outcome of its divestment process which will be known next month, unless the privatisation deadline is extended yet again.

Scheduled domestic flights were suspended on March 25 and allowed to resume partially on May 25. June, the first full month post-resumption, saw 19.8 lakh domestic flyers — down 83% from 1.2 crore in same month last year. In subsequent weeks as travel numbers picked up, the government gradually allowed airlines to mount more flights and currently 70% of pre-Covid level of domestic operations are allowed.

18/11/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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