The domestic passenger load increase to a great extent because of the ease in restrictions during August.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that the domestic air passenger traffic surged 33.8 per cent month-on-month in August. The total passenger load stood at 67.01 lakh in August in opposition to 50.07 Lakh in July and 31.13 Lakh in June.
The passenger traffic for the month practically doubled than what was in the previous month as reported by the aviation regulator. In the same month last year, the traffic stood at 28.32 lakhs. The reason can be that flight restrictions have been raised as compared to July last year when complete lockdowns were imposed.
Domestic airlines were allowed to work only at 45 per cent capacity utilization in August 2020 compared to the 72.5 percent capacity utilization allowed in August 2021.
The passenger load factor of major scheduled airlines got better in August as compared to that of the previous month. Indigo’s passenger load factor rose to 74 per cent in August from 66.2 per cent in July. Similarly, SpiceJet’s PLF rose to 79.6 per cent in August from the earlier 74.6 per cent in July. Air India’s PLF rose to 68.4 per cent in August as compared to 64.3 per cent in July and Vistara’s PLF rose to 71.3 per cent from 69.2 per cent from July to August.
GoFirst, formerly known as GoAir, saw its PLF going up in August after seeing a downfall in July. It recorded a 67.6 per cent in the last month after falling to 67.1 per cent in July from 70.3 per cent in June. PLF measures capacity utilization of transport services, including airlines.
Talking about market share, InterGlobe Aviation-operated IndiGo was at the top of the sector with a 57 per cent market share in June. In August carried 38.16 lakh passengers compared to 29.32 lakh passengers in the previous month. Air India carried 8.86 lakh passengers during the month against 6.7 lakh in July.
SpiceJet carried 5.84 lakh passengers, constituting an 8.7 percent market share, and GoFirst carried 4.58 lakh passengers, registering a 6.8 per cent market share.
Vistara and AirAsia India carried about 5.58 lakh passengers and 3.49 lakh passengers, respectively, during August. Vistara’s market share jumped to 8.3 per cent in August from 8.1 per cent in July and 7.2 per cent in June. AirAsia India saw a market share of 5.2 per cent in August after seeing a market share of 3.3 percent in July.
The DGCA has allowed airlines to sell seats up to 72.5 percent of an airline’s pre-covid capacity on domestic flights making way for airlines to ensure more capacity on domestic routes.
The restriction does not apply to international all-cargo flights, those under bilateral air bubble agreements, and those specifically approved by the aviation regulator.