Saturday, May 13, 2023

April saw 17% increase in domestic flyer traffic over pre-Covid figure

Mumbai: Domestic air passenger traffic for the month of April is estimated to be around 1.3 crore, about 17% higher than the pre-Covid passenger volume of 1.1 crore registered in April 2019, according to the monthly traffic report released by credit rating agency ICRA on Friday. Year-on-year domestic passenger traffic saw a huge jump as only 1.05 crore passengers flew in April 2022 as the travel industry reeled under the impact of the Covid third wave.

However, when it comes to pre-Covid domestic flyer traffic, it is pertinent to note that Jet Airways had started to reduce its flight operations over the months leading to April 2019 before suspending all operations on April 17 that year.

ICRA stated, “Airlines’ capacity deployment in April 2023 was higher by about 8% than in April 2022 and about 9% higher than pre-Covid levels of April 2019. It is estimated that the domestic aviation industry operated at a passenger load factor of about 91% in April 2023, against 81% in April 2022 and 88% in April 2019.”

“Despite a healthy recovery in passenger traffic, the domestic aviation industry continues to face challenges on account of elevated aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices and depreciation of the Indian rupee vis-à-vis the US dollar compared to the pre-Covid era, both of which have a major bearing on the airlines’ cost structure,” the report said, adding, “While ATF prices have witnessed a sequential decline over the past four months, they still remain at elevated levels as compared to the pre-Covid era. The airlines’ efforts to ensure fare hikes proportionate to their input cost increases will be key to expanding their profitability margins.”

13/05/2023 Times of India

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