Domestic air passenger traffic slips to 1.8%

Domestic air passenger traffic slips to 1.8%
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Also, international traffic catered by domestic airlines de-grew in July

Mumbai: India's domestic air passenger demand plummet to 1.8 per cent in July following the end of tourist season while the cumulative growth in traffic in the first four months stood at a mere 1.6 per cent, the report said.

According to rating agency Icra, the international traffic catered by the domestic airlines de-grew 14.7 per cent in July over 0.6 per cent of the industry with the local carriers continuing to underperform the industry on international routes and their market share declining by 528 basis points to 32.1 per cent in July over the year-ago period on account of the under-performance.

The growth in the industry capacity (measured in available seat kilometres ASKMs) continued to be muted in July at 3.5 per cent, primarily due to the grounding of Jet Airways.

"Furthermore, the Indian airlines have been increasing focus on international operations as witnessed in increasing capacity deployment, due to higher opportunities in overseas markets from India.

The same is evident from increasing capacity deployment by some of the carriers on international routes," said Kinjal Shah of Icra.

Observing that the jet fuel prices first declined sequentially in June and July by 0.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively, Icra said they, however, increased sequentially by 3.3 per cent in August while declined 7.9 per cent year-on-year.

September 2019 again witnessed a sequential as well as year-on-year decline of 0.9 per cent and 9.1 per cent, respectively, it said adding the decline, however, may not have a material impact on the profitability of the airlines if they continue to witness pressure on passenger load factors which have been declining sequentially since May.

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