A report from rating agency ICRA suggests that domestic air passenger traffic in the country stayed 44% down to 111 lakhs in April to December of 2021 in comparison to the same time period of the financial year 2020 but saw a jump of 52% when compared to December 2021. The rating agency said that the domestic air passenger traffic lingered at 73 lakhs in December 2020. The report also stated that the fast-spreading Omicron variant of Coronavirus and the restrictions that will be followed because of it are going to be the primary near-term challenges for the airline industry in India.
The Current Statistics and The Challenges Ahead
According to a report from PTI, the statement released by ICRA on Monday stated that the growth in December was recorded at 5% - 6% over November 2021 on a sequential basis. It also stated that during this period Indian airlines had flown a total of about 105 lakh passengers. In addition to this, the daily departures in the month of December 2021 stood at 2,800 which is significantly higher than 2,065 in December 2020 and 2,700 in November 2021. On the other hand, the average number of passengers per flight in December 2021 remained at 129 as compared to 130 the previous month.
The VP and sector head of ICRA, Suprio Banerjee said in a statement that even though the sequential recovery has persisted in December 2021, the demand from corporate sector travellers has stayed low as the reports suggest that passenger traffic from the segment remained 44% low in 9M FY22 as compared to 9M FY20. He further added that the major reason for the sequential recovery is the passengers opting for leisure travel along with calendar year-end and holiday travel. Moreover, according to the ICRA VP, the emergence of the Omicron variant resulting in a rising number of covid cases in the country is already causing certain restrictions being imposed on domestic travel which could be a serious peril for the recovery of domestic air travel.
The report from ICRA also displayed the domestic air passenger traffic to be around 111 lakhs in December which is a 5% - 6% surge in comparison to November 2021. The same stats also represent about 52% growth year-on-year basis as the domestic air passenger traffic remained at 73 lakhs in December 2020. Furthermore, ICRA also talked about the threats of rising Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices which has witnessed a steep 49% surge year-on-year basis until January 2022 and could majorly hamper the recovery of the Indian aviation sector.