India’s domestic air travel is rapidly rebounding from the pandemic lows. Domestic air traffic numbers have reached an all-time high, according to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

As of April 30, Indian airlines transported a record-breaking 4,56,082 passengers in a single day, surpassing pre-Covid levels from February 2020. Ministry sources said India is on track to surpass the 500,000 passenger mark in a single day by this year end.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said on Monday that Indian airlines ferried 4,56,082 passengers on 2,978 flights on a single day on April 30. The total flight movements on April 30 were 5,947, and the total number of passengers, including departures, was   9,13,336.

The Indian civil aviation sector is setting new records every day. Post-Covid, skyrocketing domestic air passenger numbers are a sign of India’s rising growth and prosperity,” said Scindia.

According to industry experts, this is higher than the daily average of pre-covid levels in February 2020.

On April 29, 4,50,615 passengers were carried on 2,975 flights.

Passenger Load Factor

According to MoCA’s data, SpiceJet and GoFirst had the highest average passenger load factor (PLF) on their flights, with 96 per cent and 95 per cent respectively.

Air India and Vistara flights were 93 per cent full, and 92 per cent of the seats on AirAsia India and Akasa Air remained full.  The PLF is calculated as an average of the number of flights operated by an airline against the number of seats sold on a particular day.  

Ministry sources informed businessline that India is likely to cross the 5 lakh passenger mark in a single day by November or December. In order to make the process seamless at the airports, the ministry has started bracing for potential impact. 

“As we witness a surge in passenger traffic, we have observed longer queues at airports. To tackle this challenge, we have already initiated operational analysis with relevant departments, including CISF, security, and immigration. We are also working closely with major airports such as Bombay and Delhi, which experience the highest congestion levels, to declutter and streamline the airport processes. Our goal is to reduce the wait time and ensure a seamless experience for all passengers,” sources said. 

According to Network Thoughts’ analysis, for the month of April, approximately 1.28 crore passengers were ferried, which was higher by 9,500 passengers. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation declares a monthly average for every month on a consolidated basis in the following month.