15% more domestic fliers take off in Mar

 The number of domestic fliers in India rose by 14.91% in March, compared with the same month in the previous year, according to latest official data.

The report from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that airlines carried 90.45 lakh passengers last month, compared with 78.72 lakh during the same period in 2016. In February this year, 86.55 lakh people flew in domestic carriers. Altogether, this year, the airlines flew 272.79 lakh passengers in the first three months, against 230.03 lakh, clocking a growth of 18.59%.

Though there was growth in numbers, the DGCA said that the passenger load factor declined slightly last month, compared with February “due to a lean period”. Except for one airline, all domestic carriers reported a decline in seat occupancy. SpiceJet continued to be the leader in this group with 91.4% seat occupancy in March, against 93.7% in February.

Zoom Air — a newbie in the airline sector — is the only carrier that showed an increase in seat occupancy -- from 59% to 74.6%. AirAsia India came second 87.8%, while Air India was down to 74.6%. The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for March was 0.41%, against 0.39% in February, and 1.10% in January.

A total of 680 passenger-related complaints had been received by the airlines last month. The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried has been 0.75 with Air India topping the list with 2.1.

IndiGo continued to be on the top by cornering 39.9% of the market in March, and taking the three-month aggregate to 39.7%. It carried 36.11 lakh passengers last month.

Jet Airways and its subsidiary had a share of 17.9%, while Air India had 13% share in March, and SpiceJet had 13.2% market share.

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