Domestic air passenger traffic in April down 29% at 55-56 lakh: ICRA

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on May 05, 2021

The same was 78.2 lakh in March 2021

During April 2021, the country’s domestic air passenger traffic was an estimated 55-56 lakh, a decline of 29 per cent from 78.2 lakh in March 2021.

With this, the domestic passenger traffic has reached lower than the October 2020 levels.

The airlines’ capacity for April 2021 was lower by 15 per cent compared to March 2021 (60,300 departures, against 71,300 departures ), indicating the declining demand scenario stemming from averseness of consumers to travel due to the rise in Covid-19 infections.

The domestic airline operations were completely stopped during April 2020 due to the nationwide Covid-19 related lockdown.

Kinjal Shah, Vice President & Co-Group Head, ICRA, in a report of aviation sector, says: “The number of flights departing has also gradually declined from February 2021 onwards, with the average daily departures close to 2,000 in April 2021, down from 2,300 in March 2021 and February 2021. The average number of passengers per flight during April 2021 was 93, against an average of 109 passengers per flight in March 2021.”

The gradual decline depicts stress on demand, driven largely by the second wave of Covid-19 and passenger fear against travelling.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has permitted increasing the capacity gradually from 33 per cent, with effect from May 25, 2020, to 80 per cent, with effect from December 3, 2020. The same, as per the latest announcement by the MoCA, continues till May 31, 2021.

While the scheduled international operations are yet to start, the MoCA has permitted international operations under the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) and Air Transport Bubbles (ATB). The international operations through VBM or the ATB route were the only source of revenue for airlines and the cancellation of flights by the destination countries will further impact the beleaguered domestic carriers.

Following the pandemic, crude oil prices declined materially reaching a low of $19/ barrel in April 2020, thus leading to a decline in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices. However, the crude oil prices have increased gradually since then, and currently ranges at around 65/ barrel resulting in increase of the ATF prices sequentially.

Published on May 05, 2021

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