Buoyed by the festive demand, the domestic air traffic surged as much as 10.77% year-on-year to 126.36 lakh passengers, as against 114.07 lakh passengers in the same period last year, according to the latest data from the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The domestic air traffic between the January to October period stood at 1254.98 lakhs, up 26.98% year-on-year as against the corresponding period of the previous year, says DGCA.

Amongst airlines, IndiGo continued to helm the leading position and clocked a market share of 62.6% by carrying 79.07 lakh passengers. This was followed by Air India, which clocked 10.5% market share and carried 13.27 lakh passengers. Air Asia, SpiceJet and Akasa Air clocked 6.6%, 5% and 4.2%, respectively in market share in October.

The cancellation rate of scheduled domestic flights in October was 0.60%. While IndiGo had a cancellation rate of 0.54%, SpiceJet had a cancellation rate of 0.48% in October. Vistara, Air India, Air Asia and Akasa Air had cancellation rates of 0.12%, 0.09%, 0.09% and 0%, respectively.

According to DGCA, in October, a total of 475 passenger-related complaints had been received by the scheduled domestic airlines. The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for October has been around 0.38.

Notably, during the month under review, IndiGo’s on-time performance across four major metro airports i.e. Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai stood at 88.5%. This was followed by Akasa Air, whose on-time performance stood at 83.9%. The on-time performance of Air Asia, Vistara, Air India, and SpiceJet stood at 82.8%, 81.55, 77.5% and 58.1%, respectively.

Earlier this month, rating agency ICRA in its reports said that the overall passenger traffic will touch record highs of 373-380 million in FY24, translating into a 14-16% YoY growth over FY23, while maintaining a 'stable' outlook on the Indian airport infrastructure sector.

ICRA had earlier estimated passenger traffic to grow by 12-14% in FY24. The upcoming festive and holiday season is likely to drive passenger growth over the next 4-5 months, according to the rating agency.

Vinay Kumar G, sector head, corporate ratings, ICRA, said that the improved occupancy in other airlines and the addition of new routes have largely offset the impact of the Go-First bankruptcy on overall passenger traffic. This is also evident from a handsome 19% YoY growth in domestic passenger traffic during 7M FY2024, said Kumar G

"Given this, the domestic traffic is expected to reach 110-112% of pre-Covid levels in FY2024. The international traffic recovered to 98% in 7M FY2024 and is expected to cross to pre-Covid levels in FY2024," said Kumar G.

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