Covid impact: Airline industry's passenger load factor falls sharply in July

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on August 13, 2020

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The Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact the performance of domestic airlines for the second month in a row as they carried only 21.07 lakh passengers in July, an 82.30 per cent decline from the 1.19 crore passengers flown in the same period the previous year.

In June, the sector registered a decline of 83.5 per cent, having flown 19.84 lakh passengers, against 1.2 crore passengers in the previous year .

Domestic flights restarted on May 25 with airlines initially being allowed to operate 33 per cent of the flights that they were operating before the Covid 19-induced lockdown on March 25.

The government subsequently raised this to 45 per cent. However, with major cities such as Mumbai accepting just 50 take-offs and landings and Kolkata deciding not to accept flights from six cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad – as well as varying quarantine rules in different states affected the sentiments of domestic flyers.

Limited operations

In a statement releasing the latest data, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that the passenger load factor in July showed “a sharp decline due to limited air operations because of (the) Covid-19 outbreak”.

In July, IndiGo flew 12.72 lakh of the 21.07 lakh passengers flown, followed by SpiceJet (3.31 lakh), Air India (1.91 lakh), AirAsia (1.30 lakh), Vistara (88,000) and GoAir (79,000).

SpiceJet took the number one position among all domestic airlines, registering a Passenger Load Factor of 70 per cent, followed by IndiGo (60.2 per cent), AirAsia (56.2 per cent), Vistara (53.1 per cent), GoAir (50.5 per cent) and Air India (45.5 per cent). PLF shows how many of the total seats on offer by each airline are getting filled.

AirAsia reported the best on-time performance (OTP) at 98.1 per cent, followed by IndiGo (97.6 per cent), Vistara (95.9 per cent), SpiceJet (93.2 per cent), GoAir (91.3 per cent) and Air India (89.3 per cent) at the four metro airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

The industry paid ₹7.93 lakh to over 14,600 passengers who were affected by flight cancellations. In addition, it also paid ₹2.08 lakh towards facilitation of over 17,500 of the 21.07 lakh passengers who were affected by flight delays.

Published on August 13, 2020

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