Domestic air passenger traffic has finally grown in double-digits, clipping at 11.2 percent in November to 12.94 million after growing in single-digit till October, while April saw a degrowth, show the latest DGCA data released on Thursday.
The 12 domestic carriers, including full-service carriers Air India and Vistara and budget carriers Indigo, Spicejet, GoAir and AirAsia India together have flown 11.6 million passengers in November.
The sectoral regulator attributed the increase in the reporting month to the onset of the tourist season.
The cumulative domestic passenger traffic in the January-November period of 2019 stood at 131.11 million up from 126.28 million in 2018, registering a growth of 3.86 percent, the DGCA said.
"The double-digits month-on-month growth in passenger traffic in November is a relief for the industry which was experiencing a slow growth since the past few months," said Sabina Chopra of Yatra.com.
Growth is coming on the back of very competitive airfares, Chopra said, adding lower airfares have been due to the seat capacity additions as well as stable oil prices. "The passenger load factor has shown an increasing trend compared to previous months primarily due to the onset of the tourist season," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said.
Passenger load factor or seat occupancy is a measure of how much of an airline's passenger carrying capacity is used or average percentage of seats filled in an aircraft.
PLF of the six major carriers stood between 83 per cent and 92.8 per cent in November as against 76-90 per cent in October.
Major carriers further fueled growth by announcing discounts during the month, despite it being a peak travel season, Chopra said, adding, "we are positive this growth trend will continue in December due to the Christmas and the New Year."
The airlines, however, looked less punctual in terms of flight arrivals and departures with none of these six airlines recording more than 68 percent on-time performance from the four largest airports of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Budget carrier GoAir recorded the highest OTP at 67.8 percent, while disinvestment-bound national carrier Air India had the lowest at 42 per cent in November.
Also, during the month, a total of 2.65 lakh passengers were affected due to the flights delays across airlines, which paid an amount of about Rs 2 crore towards facilitation besides 41,823 passengers took a hit when their flights were cancelled resulting in payment of Rs 50.73 lakh to them as compensation and facilities.
As many as 2,289 passengers were denied boarding in the month for various reasons and they were paid a total compensation of Rs 92.73 lakh.