NEW DELHI: Reflecting "solid" growth over the past two months, India's domestic passenger traffic rose 7.4 per cent in August, recording the second highest growth rate globally after Russia's 10 per cent, latest IATA data shows.
"Indian domestic demand climbed 7.4 per cent. Results for the last two months have been solid, perhaps an early sign of improvement as a result of the new business-supportive government regime," the analysis of the data by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.
India's domestic Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK), which measures actual passenger traffic, grew 7.4 per cent over August last year, almost matching the 7.6 per cent rise in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) that indicates available passenger capacity or the number of aircraft seats available.
The overall average domestic demand rose 4.5 per cent in August compared to August 2013 with all markets reporting growth, led by Russia and India, the analysis said.
Like India, Russia's high growth rate of 10.1 per cent showed that the airlines there "have been able to stimulate domestic demand through significant fare reductions", it said.
The international air traffic results showed a "slight pick-up in demand" in August over the previous month.
Airlines in the Asia Pacific region saw their global traffic rise 5.8 per cent in August compared to the previous year. While seat capacity rose by seven per cent, their load factor declined 0.9 percentage points to 81 per cent.
Middle East region saw the strongest year-on-year traffic growth at 11.7 per cent as airlines there continued to "benefit from the strength of regional economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel."
Commenting on the air traffic data, IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler said, "August was a good month right across the industry. All regions reported an expansion in demand for air travel" with high load factors.
"We should, however, keep an eye on potential downside risks," he said pointing towards European continent's "increasingly worrying economic outlook".