Nearly 1.12 crores passengers travelled by air in December 2021, an increase of 6.7% compared to November 2021, India’s aviation regulatory authority the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), revealed in its monthly statement. In November, the count of domestic air travellers was around 1.05 crores.
Taking the yearly count, a total of 8.38 crore people travelled on domestic flights in 2021, registering a 33% increase from 2020, which was 6.3 crores, reveals the monthly statistics of DGCA. Air passenger volume saw a 53% year-on-year (YoY) growth.
IndiGo flew the highest number of passengers, had the best on-time performance
Among airlines, IndiGo carried 61.41 lakh passengers in December. It registered an occupancy rate of 80.2%. The domestic airline occupies more than half of the market share at 54.8%. The airline also reported the best on-time performance of 83.5% at four metro airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Go First, and Vistara occupied the second and third positions at these four airports in December 2021 with 83% and 81.5% on-time performance, respectively, the DGCA passenger data reported.
Go First, previously popular as GoAir, flew a total of 11.93 lakh passengers. SpiceJet flew slightly less than Go First, around 11.51 lakh passengers in December 2021. The airline’s load factor stood at 86% for the month.
Other airlines such as Air India, Alliance Air, AirAsia India and Vistara carried 9.89 lakhs, 1.25 lakhs, 7.01 lakhs and 8.61 lakhs passengers, respectively, according to DGCA monthly statistics. Considering their occupancy rates, Vistara registered 78.1% occupancy, Go First had 79%, Air India stood at 78.2%, and AirAsia India has the lowest at 74.2%. SpiceJet’s market share remains unchanged at 10.3%.
DGCA domestic data shows that December was the beginning of recovery from COVID-19 for the aviation sector. However, the sudden surge in the cases due to the new Omicron variant soon slowed down the air travel again. India resumed domestic passenger flights only in May 2020. With travel restrictions continuing to be in place in India and other countries, the situation does not imply any silver lining for the aviation sector.
Overall, India’s aviation industry saw a lean December, an aftermath of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.