Indias Domestic Air Traffic Contracts

Wednesday, 24th April 2013 at 10:56am

Bad times may not be over yet for the country's aviation industry as local airlines struggle to fill their planes as shown in the latest data obtained from International Air Transport Association.

The traffic for the month of February showed a 9% decrease over the same period last year. The IATA compiles data every year tracking major airlines around the world. In its latest available data, Indian domestic air traffic contracted by 9% while the passenger load factor slumped to 74.5%.

The decrease in domestic travel demand in India during the period showed the country's lingering aviation misery amidst the 3.7% growth in global travel demand for February 2013.

The passenger load factor is determined by the number of seats sold or filled for each flight.

India's economic growth is slowing for the past months which impacted the demand in domestic travel. Following the troubles haunting its local airlines resulting to the untimely demise of Kingfisher Airlines, the Indian government finally made a drastic move to help its ailing aviation industry. On October last year, it amended its decades-long FDI policy on the local aviation industry, which lifted foreign ownership on a local airline from 24% to the present 49%.

The decline in passenger traffic in India is a stark contrast to the global average growth of 9% for the past 6 months. Most carriers in the Asia-Pacific region posted a passenger traffic growth of 4.5%, on average during the same period.

The IATA official noted that the sustained growth of Chinese economy and the steadily-growing intra-Asian trade fueled the strong demand for air travel across the region. The strong demand in the region's emerging markets is also a catalyst in the steady growth of international traffic that still prevails to this day.

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