Capacity constraint slows India's air passenger traffic growth

Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2019 10:38 hrs
A passenger looks out the window at Miami International Airport in Miami

New Delhi: Capacity constraints due to Jet Airways' troubles decelerated the growth of India's domestic air passenger traffic to just 3.1 per cent in March.

According to thee International Air Transport Association (IATA), India's domestic air passenger volume -- measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) grew at 3.1 per cent in March, down from February's growth of 8.3 per cent and well off the torrid five-year average growth pace of close to 20 per cent per month.

"The slowdown largely reflects the reduction in flight operations of Jet Airways - which stopped flying in April - as well as disruptions at Mumbai airport owing to construction," the IATA said in a statement.

Since last year, the troubles of Jet Airways started. This created a capacity crunch in the domestic sector.

In April, Jet was forced to announce a temporary suspension of all flight services as it was unable to maintain even bare minimum operations.

Prior to temporarily suspending all flight services, Jet had already folded up most of its operations due to grounding of around 90 per cent of its fleet by lessors, as its consortium of lenders refused to extend loans to the airline.

As per the data, India's domestic air passenger volume was the fourth highest among the major aviation markets such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.

India's domestic passenger traffic growth was succeeded by that of Brazil at 3.2 per cent, Japan at 4.2 per cent and Russia at 14.2 per cent.

The country's domestic available passenger capacity -- measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) -- stood higher by 4.7 per cent in March. It was followed by Russia at 11.1 per cent and preceded by China at 4.4 per cent.