India's air passenger traffic grows 3.6 per cent in October

IATA says the growth in India lags the robust 2018 outcomes

Passenger volumes continue to expand at a much slower pace than seen in 2018, says IATA | PTI Passenger volumes continue to expand at a much slower pace than seen in 2018, says IATA | PTI

India's domestic air passenger traffic grew 3.6 per cent in October but the expansion was slower than last year, reflecting "general economic slowdown" and disruptive impact of Jet Airways' collapse, according to IATA.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a grouping of more than 280 airlines worldwide, on Thursday said growth in India lags the robust 2018 outcomes.

Globally, Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPK) rose to 3.4 per cent in October compared to the year-ago period. RPK is a measure of demand.

"This was a modest slowdown from 3.9 per cent growth recorded in September, owing to softer traffic performance in domestic markets. October capacity (Available Seat Kilometers or ASKs) increased by 2.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.9 percentage point to 82 per cent, which was a record for October," IATA said in a report.

Regarding the Indian market, the grouping said RPK growth picked up by almost two percentage points to 3.6 per cent year-on-year, supported by the start of the main tourist season. In September, the same stood at 1.9 per cent.

"Nonetheless, passenger volumes continue to expand at a much slower pace than seen in 2018, reflecting the general economic slowdown and disruptive impact of the collapse of Jet Airways earlier in the year," it noted.

Jet Airways, which was also an IATA member, shuttered operations in April this year after the full-service carrier ran out of funds for day-to-day operations.

As per the IATA, international RPK growth was unchanged from last month as faster expansion recorded by the Middle Eastern carriers broadly offset a slowdown in Europe and Latin America. By contrast, growth in domestic RPKs softened this month largely on the back of weaker China and US market outcomes, it added.

IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said traffic growth continues to be depressed compared to historical long-term growth levels, reflecting continued moderating economic activity in some key markets and sagging business confidence.

However, the fact that traffic is growing is a positive, and the industry continues to do an excellent job of maximising asset efficiency, as shown in the record load factor, he said.