Domestic air passenger traffic increased by 27% YoY and 10.2% on a month-on-month basis in October, aviation data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shows. Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-October 2022 were 988.31 lakh (9.8 crore) against 620.96 lakh (6.2 crore) during the corresponding period of the previous year, thereby registering an annual growth of 59.16% and monthly growth of 26.95%. On an MoM basis, a total of 114.07 lakh passengers were carried by domestic airlines compared to 89.85 lakh in the same month last year.

Domestic leader IndiGo's market share dipped to a five-month low of 56.7%, followed by Vistara at 9.2%, down from 9.6% in September, and Air India at 9.1%, down from 9.2% in September. Among other airlines, Alliance Air's market share stands at 1.3%, Air Asia's at 7.6%, Go First at 7%, Fly Big at 0.2%, Star Air at 0.2% and Akasa Air at 1.4%. In October, a maximum of 64.71 lakh passengers were flown by IndiGo, followed by 10.49 lakh by Vistara and 10.38 lakh by Air India.

Traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines analysed for October 2022 shows SpiceJet with a maximum passenger load factor of 88.1%, up from 85.8 in September, followed by Go First at 86.7%, up from 83.2% in September, and Vistara at 85.5%, up from 85.4% in September.

The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for October 2022 has been 0.26%, with that of Fly Big's highest at 4.61%, followed by Star Air at 1.92% and Alliance Air at 0.82%. The top reasons for the cancellations include weather (55.6%), followed by technical at 24.1% and commercial at 14.2%.

During October 2022, a total of 396 passenger-related complaints were received by the scheduled domestic airlines. The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for October 2022 has been around 0.35. The airlines with the maximum complaints are Star Air (5.2), Alliance Air (4.8) and Air India (1.6). The top three reasons for complaints included flight problems (27%), refunds (26.8%) and others (22.7%).

In on-time performance (OTP), Air India topped the chart with an OTP of 90.8%, followed by Vistara at 89.1% and Air Asia at 89.1%.

The government, meanwhile, on Monday eased norms for inbound international passengers, doing away with the mandatory submission of Air Suvidha forms and vaccination or masks. The health ministry said the guidelines are being revised in light of the sustained declining Covid-19 trajectory and significant advances in Covid-19 vaccination coverage both globally and in India.

However, as a precautionary measure, the ministry has said the passengers found to be symptomatic during screening will be immediately isolated and taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol. In a directive issued on November 16, the civil aviation ministry said that facemasks will no longer be mandatory for domestic and international air travellers in India.

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