The month of November has brought tailwinds for the Indian civil aviation sector as the daily domestic air traffic has reached close to pre-COVID levels. On November 14, a total of 385,661 passengers were recorded at departures. This was the highest-ever daily air traffic since air travel resumed in May 2020 following a two-month shutdown.
This was at 96.4 percent of pre-COVID level as in the year 2019, an average of around 400,000 domestic passengers was recorded on a daily basis.
The demand sentiment has been strengthened not just on the back of festival season and upcoming wedding season, but also due to an overall improvement in passenger confidence, experts said.
On a weekly basis, the average daily air traffic during Nov 8-14 is around 352,400 passengers, 18 percent up on week and the average passenger load factor for all major airlines also hovered around 80-90 percent. For context, the average daily domestic air traffic in the month of October was 283,334 passengers.
In terms of flight departures, November 14 also witnessed record levels of flight departures since the resumption of domestic air travel. The sector registered 2,754 flight departures at the airports that day. This translated to 95 percent of pre-COVID levels. Simultaneously, on a weekly basis, the average daily domestic departures during the Nov 8-14 period were around 2700, 4 percent up on a week. Meanwhile, the average daily air departures registered in the month of October were 2318.
Overall, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows a higher aircraft utilisation in the sector. Moreover, an average of 131 passengers flew on every flight that departed during Nov 8-14, clocking a growth of 15 percent on week.
As the wedding season is set to further encourage demand sentiment over the next month and then with the festivities around Christmas and the New Year, experts predict the demand to remain strong at least in the near term.
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)
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