KOCHI: Even after the predatory pricing of airline tickets, the aviation sector has not been impacted by the Centre’s demonetisation drive and its immediate fallout in November.
According to the statistics available with the Director General of Civil Aviation(DGCA), the domestic airlines’ carried 89.66 lakh flyers in November as against the 73.22 lakh during the year-ago period, which meant a growth of 22.45 per cent.
National carrier Air India ferried 11.57 lakh domestic passengers in November and its Passenger Load Factor(PLF) was 75.1 during the period mentioned, whereas the private airlines altogether carried 78.09 lakh flyers with an average PLF of 80.75 in November. There was also a marginal increase in the PLF of the scheduled operators in proportion to the increase in the passenger handling in November, considering the PLF during October.
Similarly, the Cochin International Airport Limited(CIAL) has registered an increase of 33.77 per cent in the domestic passenger handling in November and a 13.21 percent rise in the number of international passengers compared to the previous month.
Speaking to ‘Express’, Biji Eapen, national president, IATA Agents Association of India, majority of the flyers bound for destinations within the country had booked the tickets before the Centre’s announcement on the discontinuation of high-denomination notes.
Further, Biji Eapen pointed out that demonetisation had not affected a section of the people that much since they were familiar with the e-transactions. Nonetheless, the note ban’s ripple effect was likely to be felt in the coming months, especially in January and February, he said.
Meanwhile,a source close to Fly Dubai airline, said there has been a substantial number of cancellations by international passengers scheduled for travel in January. In contrast, November and the first half of December were relatively okay for the airline when compared to the PLF of previous months, he added.