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At 9%, air traffic growth for January slowest in 52 months

Higher fares and weaker demand were the main contributors for the air traffic growth slowdown in a traditionally strong month for air traffic
New Delhi: Air traffic growth was 9 percent in January for domestic passengers, which slowest rate in more than four years, while the market share of cash-strapped Jet Airways fell lower than that of national carrier Air India. Higher fares and weaker demand were the main contributors for the slowdown in a traditionally strong month for air traffic, industry watchers said. Jet’s market share continued to fall, reporting 11.9 percent for the month, while Air India posed 12.2 percent for January. Jet’s market share last fell below Air India’s in October 2014 when it posted 16.4 percent, compared to 19.5 percent of the national carrier.

Slowest growth rate since August 2014

Last month’s passenger traffic volumes were the lowest since August 2014, 52 months ago when the growth rate had risen by 8.3 percent year-on-year. In January last year, air traffic growth was 19.6 percent (domestic passengers) year-on-year. In January, there were more than 12.5 million air travellers, against 11.46 million in the same month last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.
Last month’s passenger traffic volumes were the lowest since August 2014, 52 months ago when the growth rate had risen by 8.3 percent year-on-year. In January last year, air traffic growth was 19.6 percent (domestic passengers) year-on-year. In January, there were more than 12.5 million air travellers, against 11.46 million in the same month last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said
Average domestic fares grew 9 percent year-on-year last month, which was reflected in the lower passenger load factors (PLF), experts believe. All scheduled carriers, except AirAsia India, posted a 3-3.5 percent year-on-year decline in plane occupancy. “Rise in fares is being reflected in lower PLF for all carriers,” Balu Ramachandran, head (air & distribution) of Cleartrip, said. India’s largest domestic carrier, IndiGo, said the ticket pricing situation got better, especially in the 0-15 booking window, in the December quarter. “In January, the air traffic growth (yield) trends that we saw in November and December continued within the market and we are obviously content with that,” William Boulter, chief commercial officer, IndiGo, told investors on a post-earnings call.