Domestic air passenger traffic grows by just 3.74% in 2019 compared to 18.6% in 2018: DGCA

The passenger load factors of all major airlines - Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo, AirAsia India and Vistara - declined in December 2019 as compared to November last year, as per the DGCA data.
Representational image (EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION)
Representational image (EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION)

NEW DELHI: In what could be a major worry for the aviation sector, the domestic air traffic has witnessed its lowest growth in the last six years. It dropped to 3.74 per cent in 2019 as compared to 18.6 per cent in 2018. Officials said that shutdown of Jet Airways is one of the main reasons behind the single-digit growth rate.

Due to competitive pricing by private airlines, the domestic air traffic has seen a double-digit growth in last few years.  The domestic air passenger traffic last registered a single-digit yearly growth back in 2014 (9.7 per cent).

Thereafter in the year 2015, it registered 20.34 per cent growth and it touched substantially 23.18  per cent in the year 2016 with 9.98 crore passengers.

During the year 2019, domestic scheduled carriers carried 144.17 million passengers as against 138.98 million passengers they carried during 2018. 

Expressing disappointment, a senior DGCA official said, “This is a bit disappointing. In 2019, we faced headwinds on account of Jet Airways but 2020 is going to be different and the double-digit growth should be back sooner rather than later.”

Jet airways grounded its operations in April last year as it ran out of money and failed to raise funds to stay afloat.  More than 800 daily flights were pulled out of the market, leading to a capacity cut, which ultimately shrank the market in April and months thereafter.

Private player IndiGo continued to rule the market as it carried nearly one in every two passengers. Its market share stood at 47.1 per cent during 2019 as against 41.5 per cent market share in 2018.

The airline carried 67.91 million passengers in 2019, up from nearly 57.63 million passengers in 2018.

No-frill carrier SpiceJet Ltd flew 21.53 million passengers, achieving a 14.9 per cent market share in 2019. The airline had carried 17.1 million passengers in 2018, thus registering a market share of 12.3 per cent.

National carrier Air India Ltd registered a 12.7 per cent domestic market share as it flew 18.36 million passengers in 2019. The airline had same market share in 2018.

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