Why India's domestic air traffic in May 2021 is better than a year ago but poorer than April this year

·3-min read

Compared to the January-May period last year, India's domestic airlines carried fewer passengers at 312.23 lakh in the same period this year, which was 331.94 lakh in the previous year. This means an annual growth of -5.94 percent year-on-year in the same period. however, the month-on-month growth for May this year is at 651.96 percent because the scheduled domestic flight operations last year had recommenced only on 25 May, 2020, after the suspension due to COVID-19.

Who stars in passenger load factor?

SpiceJet was the leader in terms of passenger load factor in both April and May 2021 with 70.8 percent and 68 percent, respectively, while GoAir was second with 65.7 percent and 63.3 percent; IndiGo had 58.7 percent passenger load factor in April this year while in May it was at 51.2 percent.

State-owned Air India had 52 percent passenger load factor in April this year while it was 39.3 percent in May.

In the first quarter of the calendar year of 2021 from January to March, private carriers carried 207.53 lakh passengers against 26.3 lakh by Air India in the same period. The percentage break up of passengers carried by private airlines from January to March this year stands at 88.8 percent while it is 11.2 percent for Air India.

In terms of market share in the domestic aviation sector, IndiGo continues to be the undisputed leader with 54 percent while SpiceJet remains a distant second at 12.6 percent and Air India third at 11.7 percent in the first quarter of the calendar year of 2021.

The On-Time Performance (OTP) of scheduled domestic airlines is computed for four metro airports namely Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai, for the month of May 2021 gives IndiGo the highest score at 98.7 percent, Vistara at 98.1 percent, Air Asia at 97.4 percent, SpiceJet at 97.2 percent and GoAir 94.7 percent.

What were the drawbacks?

The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for May this year was at 7.43 percent with Air India cancelling 16.34 percent of flights followed by Vistara at 9.29 percent, GoAir had the least cancellations at 0.16 percent.

Among the key causes of cancellations were commercial at 67. 9 percent, weather at 17 percent, operational at 7.6 percent, miscellaneous at 6.4 percent and technical at 1 percent.

In May 2021, a total of 338 passenger-related complaints were received by the scheduled domestic airlines.

The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of May 2021 is 1.60. Air India's domestic sector got 6.3 complaints per 10,000 passengers while SpiceJet got 2.7 as per the same scale.

Also See: Eight passengers injured after Vistara flight from Mumbai to Kolkata hits severe turbulence before landing

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