Domestic air passenger traffics plunges by 33% in March

Domestic air passenger traffics plunges by 33% in March: DGCA

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Domestic air traffic plunged 33 per cent in March to 77.62 lakh as compared to the same month last year, the civil aviation regulator DGCA said here on Thursday.

The first quarter of 2020 also witnessed a slump of 7.16 per cent in domestic air traffic as 3.29 crore people opted for air travel as compared to 3.54 crore the previous year.

India had imposed travel restrictions in March, first by shutting off the country to international commercial passenger flights and later, extending it to the domestic sector as well owing to the nationwide lock down to arrest the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), passenger load factor of all airlines in India witnessed a sharp decline in March due to suspension of air operations because of COVID-19 outbreak.

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SpiceJet saw the highest passenger load factor in March at 83.7 per cent, followed by GoAir (78.9 per cent), IndiGo (73.4 per cent), Air Asia (69.1 per cent) and Vistara (66.4 per cent).

IndiGo increased its market share from 48 per cent in February to 48.9 per cent in March, with SpiceJet a distant second with 16 per cent market share followed by Air India (10.8 per cent) and GoAir (9.9 per cent).

The airlines are eagerly awaiting the decision of the government on re-starting flight operations which have been suspended till May 3 owing to the nationwide lockdown.

Some airlines have started accepting bookings from May 16, but will have to refund passengers if the restrictions on air travel were not lifted.