78.22 lakh domestic air passengers in March, slightly lower than February: DGCA

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New Delhi, Apr 20 (PTI) Around 78.22 lakh domestic passengers travelled by air in March, which is slightly lower than 78.27 lakh who travelled in February, Indian aviation regulator DGCA said on Tuesday.

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), 77.34 lakh people travelled by air within the country in January.

While IndiGo carried 41.85 lakh passengers in March, a 54 per cent share of the total domestic market, SpiceJet flew 10.03 lakh passengers, which is 12.8 per cent share of the market, according to data shared by the DGCA.

Air India, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia India carried 9.17 lakh, 6.12 lakh, 5 lakh and 5.42 lakh passengers respectively in March, it showed.

The occupancy rate or load factor of the six major Indian airlines was between 64.5 per cent and 76.5 per cent in March, it stated.

'The passenger load factor in the month of March 2021 has shown increasing trend compared to previous month primarily due to beginning of tourist season,' the DGCA said.

The occupancy rate at SpiceJet was 76.5 per cent in March, the regulator noted.

The occupancy rates for IndiGo, Vistara, GoAir, Air India and AirAsia India were 66.4 per cent, 64.5 per cent, 71.5 per cent, 70.6 per cent and 65.1 per cent respectively, according to the DGCA.

India resumed domestic passenger flights on May 25 last year after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Indian airlines are allowed to operate a maximum of 80 per cent of their pre-pandemic domestic flights.

The DGCA data mentioned that in March, IndiGo had the best on-time performance of 97.8 per cent at four metro airports -- Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

GoAir and SpiceJet were at number two and three positions at these four airports in March with 95.8 per cent and 92.2 per cent on-time performance respectively, the regulator said.

The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leaves without pay and layoffs in order to tide over the crisis. PTI DSP SMN SMN