India is on track to register 50 months of successive double-digit domestic air passenger growth by October 2018, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on April 11.
In February 2018, Indian domestic airlines handled more than 90 per cent of its seat occupancy, according to IATA, the Hindustan Times reported. The passenger load factor exceeded 90 per cent for the first time in the domestic market. The Indian aviation sector is witnessing a stage of rapid growth in air passenger demand.
Domestic aviation market of India registered a double-digit growth in February, at 22.9 per cent, for the 42nd month in a row. “This was nearly twice the pace of the next fastest growing market, which is China with 11.8 per cent, and well above its five-year average (15.6 per cent),” the IATA report said.
“The near-term outlook for domestic India passenger demand remains bright, with the market on track to make it 50 consecutive months of double-digit annual passenger growth in October this year. The ongoing potential for further catch-up growth in living standards is expected to continue to propel passenger demand growth well into the future,” the report added.
IATA continues to expect India to exceed the United Kingdom and become the world’s third largest origin-destination market by mid-2020.
“Moreover, ongoing potential for further catch-up growth in living standards is expected to continue to propel passenger demand growth well into the future,” the report added, PTI reported.
India’s domestic traffic growth in 2017 witnessed the fastest revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) — an airline industry metric which shows the number of kilometers traveled by passengers — increase of 175 per cent for the third calendar year in a row. “Such sustained rapid growth has seen the market overtake Australia, Japan, Brazil, and Russia in terms of RPKs flown in recent years,” IATA said.
According to the recent economic survey report, India is the world’s third largest market in domestic aviation when it comes to the number of tickets sold. In 2017 from April-September, domestic airlines carried 57.50 million passengers, showing a growth rate of 16 per cent over the corresponding previous year period, with 10.30 percent domestic cargo handled. In 2016-17, the annual growth in domestic passenger departures was 23.5 per cent as compared to 3.3 per cent in the United States and 10.7 per cent in China, according to the survey.
Also, the air route between the Mumbai and Delhi was named as the third busiest domestic route in the world, with an average on-time performance of 59.14 per cent and a total of 47,462 flights operating between the two cities, a survey conducted by OAG Aviation Worldwide Limited, a global provider of digital flight information, showed in January 2018.