No impact of demonetisation on air passenger traffic: Minister (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) India’s air passenger traffic growth has not been impacted by the central government’s demonetisation drive, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju asserted on Tuesday.

“December 2016 betters the November 2016 record of highest number of passengers in a month and records 23.9 per cent growth. No demonetisation slowdown,” the minister tweeted.

The data furnished by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday, showed that domestic air passenger traffic increased by 23.91 per cent during December to 95.52 lakh from 77.09 lakh reported for the corresponding month last year.

In November 2016, the air passenger traffic rose by 22.45 per cent to 89.66 lakh.

“Almost one crore passengers in December and ten crore in (the whole of) 2016. Indian aviation is on a roll. May we continue to have safe and vibrant skies,” the minister added.

The DGCA data revealed that India’s domestic air passenger traffic zoomed by 23.18 per cent in 2016 to 998.88 lakh.

“Passengers carried by domestic airlines in 2016 were 998.88 lakh as against 810.91 lakh during the previous year, registering a growth of 23.18 per cent,” the DGCA said in its statistical analysis.

According to Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer (B2C) at Yatra.com, lower airfares along with sales offers catapulted the air passenger traffic growth.

“Clearly, there has been no impact of demonetisation, and the growth is coming on the back of very competitive airfares. The lower airfares have been a result of induction of more seat capacity as well as crude oil prices staying on the lower side,” Dhall elaborated.

“Major carriers further fuelled the growth by announcing sales during the month, despite it being a peak travel month. We do expect this growth trend to continue in the coming months.”

Besides, the data showed that low-cost carrier (LCC) SpiceJet had the highest passenger load factor (PLF) during the month under review at 93.7 per cent.

“Not only have we scored a hat-trick with the best OTP (on-time performance) for the third consecutive month in a row, we have also recorded over 90 per cent passenger load factor for 21 successive months,” G.P. Gupta, Chief Administrative Officer, SpiceJet, said in a statement.

The budget airline SpiceJet was followed by budget passenger carriers IndiGo (91.4) and GoAir (90.7).

The data showed that SpiceJet led the industry with 70 per cent punctuality rate at four major airports of Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

It was followed by Jet Airways and JetLite (64.3), Vistara (64.2), GoAir (63.6), IndiGo (61.6) and Air India (59) being on schedule.

On the other hand, Air Costa had the highest number of cancellations at 13.65 per cent, followed by Air Carnival (12.03), Trujet (5.01), IndiGo (2.83), Air India (1.91), Jet Airways (1.77), SpiceJet (1.66), JetLite (1.40), GoAir (0.79), Vistara (0.40) and AirAsia India (0.11).

“The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for December 2016 has been 2.18 per cent,” the aviation regulator said.

The data disclosed that a total of 907 passenger related complaints was received in December.

Figures of last month showed that IndiGo had the largest market share of 40.3 per cent, followed by Jet Airways (15.3), Air India (14), SpiceJet (12.7) and GoAir (8.2).

Full service passenger carrier Vistara reported a market share of 3.2 per cent for last month, followed by AirAsia India (2.9), JetLite (2.6), Air Costa (0.5), Trujet (0.3) and Air Carnival (0.1).

For calendar year 2016, budget passenger carrier IndiGo’s market share stood at 39.3 per cent, followed by Jet Airways (16.3), Air India (14.6), SpiceJet (12.7), and GoAir (8.2).

JetLite reported a market share of 2.7 per cent, followed by Vistara (2.5), AirAsia India (2.4), Air Costa (0.7), Trujet (0.4) and Air Pegasus (0.1).

–IANS

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