India’s domestic air passenger traffic grew by 26% in July


India’s domestic air passenger traffic grew by a whopping over 26% in July over the same period last year, helped by low air fares and increase in capacity by the local carriers.

“Domestic travel demand globally climbed 3.8% in July compared to July 2015, its slowest pace in 19 months. Even as China and India are booming while more mature markets are stuck in neutral,” according to the monthly air passenger traffic data by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The air travel demand in India surged 26.2% in July as against the average global demand of 3.8% during the period, IATA said.

Domestic capacity globally grew 3.7%, while the seat occupancy in aircraft rose 0.1 percentage point to 84% in July 2016, it said. “July saw demand strengthen, after a softening in June. Demand was stimulated by lower fares which, in turn, were supported by lower oil prices. And near record high load factors demonstrate that people want to travel,” IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.

Passenger demand has broadly grown in line with the average of the past 10 years but the industry faces some potential headwinds, including lingering impacts from the series of terrorist attacks and the fragile economic backdrop, he said. “The environment in which aviation operates is dynamic-even volatile. Speed is of the essence. As an industry we must be prepared for rapid innovation in order to manage shocks and take advantage of opportunities as they arise,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)