Air passenger traffic falls for fifth straight month

Domestic air passenger traffic fell 8.03 percent for the fifth straight month in September, which stood at 40.18 lakh from 43.69 lakh in August, official data showed Thursday.

The trend started in May during which the traffic came down 0.87 percent and stood at 54.48 lakh from 54.96 lakh in the corresponding month of 2011. June had recorded a substantial fall of 3.84 percent at 51.08 lakh from 53.12 lakh in the like month of 2011.

The civil aviation ministry data, however, showed the total passengers carried by all the domestic airlines in the January-September period grew by a marginal 0.90 percent at 438.39 lakh passengers from 442.18 lakh during the corresponding month of 2011.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had earlier said that the economic slowdown has adversely affected passenger traffic growth in the past couple of months but it would rebound.

Sectoral analysts said the negative growth rate was due to the seasonal factor. "There is no reason for alarm. This is a lean period for air traveller not just this year but it happens every year," Amber Dubey, partner and head-aviation at global consultancy KPMG.

On a standalone basis, IndiGo had the largest market share of 27.2 percent, followed by Air India, 19.3 percent, Jet Airways, 18.1 percent, SpiceJet, 18.5 percent, Go Air, 7.6 percent, Jetlite, 5.7 percent and Kingfisher Airlines, 3.5 percent.

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