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In March, India’s aviation sector boom fizzled to slowest in 20 quarters, says DGCA

PW Bureau

According to data released by the DGCA, passenger growth slouched to 0.14 percent in March as opposed to 5.6 percent in February

Mumbai: The rapid growth in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets fizzled out in March to its slowest in 20 Quarters because of tumultuous events that shaped the sector in the first three months of 2019 — like Jet Airways going bust, the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and SpiceJet grounding flights.

0.14% passenger growth in March

According to data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), passenger growth slouched to 0.14 percent in March as opposed to 5.6 percent in February and 9 percent increase in January.

In March, airlines carried 11.59 million as opposed to 11.35 million passengers and in February.

Rivals capture market share vacated by Jet

The DGCA data also showed that major domestic carriers Air India, Vistara and IndiGo improved their market shares in March as compared to January, primarily due to Jet’s exit from the aviation market. While Air India improved its share from 12.2 percent in January to 13.1 percent in March, IndiGo went from 42.5 percent in January to 46.9 percent in March. SpiceJet and Air Asia, on the other hand, registered marginal improvements during the period.

Capacity utilisation by domestic carriers eases

According to the data, capacity utilisation by domestic carriers eased in March as compared to January and February “due to end of vacation period of various sectors.” Higher ticket prices also prevented people from travelling by air in a price-sensitive market like India.