Indian domestic air travel bounces back

16 Dec 2019 by Akanksha Maker
Gateway of India, Mumbai

India saw the first double digit growth in domestic travellers this year with almost 13 million passengers in November. 

This number is up 11.2 per cent from 11.6 million in the same month of 2018. This has been the highest this year.

The last double digit growth was seen in December 2018 that saw 13 per cent more domestic travellers than the same period in 2017.

When Jet Airways shut down in April, the number of operational aircraft in Indian aviation were recorded at 533. This was also the time when domestic air travel growth declined, touching a negative zone.

As of now, Indian carriers have 628 operational aircraft in their fleet. This additional seat capacity has contributed to the double digit growth this month. 

In January-November, 2019, 131 million people have flown within the country — up 3.9 per cent from 126 million in same period last year.

While the domestic travel situation has seen an improvement, airlines continue to ask for a viable and sustainable environment for their operations in India.

“India is one of the most expensive places for running an airline as fuel for domestic flights is among the costliest here globally. There is massive airport infrastructure crunch and the development of secondary airports in places like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Patna have been hugely delayed. Same is the case with expanding airports that have land available, like at Delhi’s IGI Airport. As a result, every few years a big airline shuts down here. India must provide a viable and sustainable environment for airlines in terms of seasonable operating costs and adequate infrastructure. Only then Indian airlines can survive and thrive,” said an airline official to the Times of India in a recent interview.


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