Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Daily domestic flyers hit new high since pandemic

New Delhi: With the number of flights and travellers going up, India witnessed the highest number of single-day domestic air travellers on Sunday since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last March.

As many as 3,85,661 passengers travelled via 2,754 flights across the country on Sunday. This was at 96.4 per cent of the pre-Covid level as in the year 2019 an average of around 4,00,000 domestic passengers was recorded on a daily basis.

Major airports saw heavy crowds and long queues last weekend, indicating the comeback of air travel.  As many as 3.78 lakh domestic passengers had travelled via 2,701 flights last Sunday.  Post the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the daily domestic passenger count crossed the three lakh mark for the first time on October 9.

The data of the Ministry of Civil Aviation showed that as many as 3.67 lakh passengers travelled via 2,713 flights across India on November 13. Similarly over 3.21 lakh domestic air passengers travelled via 2,594 flights on November 12. Before the pandemic struck, India’s daily domestic air traffic was approximately 4.25 lakh passengers.

On a weekly basis, the average daily air traffic during November 8-14 is around 3,52,400 passengers, 18 per cent up on the week, and the average passenger load factor for all major airlines also hovered around 80-90 per cent. For context, the average daily domestic air traffic in the month of October was 2,83,334 passengers.

Last week, an ICRA report had said that domestic air passenger traffic in the country had grown by a whopping 67 per cent year-on-year at around 87-88 lakh in October, on the back of festive season demand amid a continuous fall in the number of Covid-19 infection cases.

According to credit rating agency ICRA, domestic passenger volume in October 2020 was at 52.71 lakh. Moreover, domestic carriers operated 46 per cent more flights at 72,000 during the month under review over 49,150 departures logged in October 2020, ICRA said, adding, on a sequential basis, the number of departures in October 2021 were higher by around 18 per cent, as Covid-19 infections demonstrated a downward trajectory.

16/11/21 Rajesh Kumar/Pioneer

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