Domestic airlines carried 10.06 crore passengers during January-August 2023 against 7.7 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year, recording an annual growth of 30.55% and monthly growth of 22.81%, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data shows.

On a month-on-month basis, 1.2 crore passengers were carried by airlines in August 2023 compared to 1.01 crore in July 2023, the aviation data released today shows.

The market share of scheduled domestic airlines shows IndiGo topping the chart at 63.3% in August, down from 63.4% in July, followed by Air India at 9.8%. In terms of passenger load factor, SpiceJet tops the list at 90.9%, followed by Vistara at 91.3% and IndiGo at 83.6%.

In on-time performance (OTP) of scheduled domestic airlines across cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, IndiGo topped the chart at 89% OTP, followed by Air Asia, Vistara, and Akasa Air.

India’s airline industry, for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, is expected to be back in FY24.

Rating agency ICRA has maintained a “stable” outlook on the Indian aviation industry, amid the continued recovery in domestic and international air passenger traffic in FY2024, and improved pricing power of the carriers.

In its half-yearly update this month, ICRA estimates growth in domestic air passenger traffic in FY2024 at 8-13%, thus reaching 150-155 million, surpassing the pre-COVID levels of 141.2 million in FY2020.

“During 5M FY2024, domestic air passenger traffic stood at 63.2 million, witnessing a YoY growth of 20% from 52.6 million in 5M FY2023, 7% higher than the pre-COVID levels of 58.9 million (5M FY2020). Further, the international passenger traffic for Indian carriers surpassed the pre-COVID levels in FY2023, although it trailed the peak levels of 25.9 million in FY2019,” says the ratings agency.

Suprio Banerjee, vice president & sector head – corporate ratings, ICRA, says given the fast-paced recovery of air passenger traffic in FY2023 and continuation of the same in the current fiscal, coupled with improved pricing power, the RASK-CASK spread of some of the Indian airlines turned positive since Q3 FY2023. “The industry is thus estimated to report a significantly lower net loss of ~Rs. 30-50 billion in FY2024 compared to an estimated ~Rs. 170-175 billion in FY2023.”

The government data shows the total number of passengers carried by scheduled Indian carriers recorded 61.58% growth at 13.6 crore in the financial year 2022-23, the civil aviation ministry data shows. In the fiscal year before that, 8.4 crore passengers were carried by airlines.

The growth rate in the number of domestic air passengers had stood at -62.23% in FY21 and just 0.62% in FY20, the year when India was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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