India’s domestic air traffic grew strongly by over 14 per cent last November compared to the same month in 2013, though that did not translate into higher international travel demand for Indian carriers, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said today.
“November demand was healthy, but the overall picture is mixed. For example, strong traffic performance within China and India has not carried over into international demand for Asia-Pacific carriers,” the global airlines’ body’s Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler, said after IATA released its analysis of the latest world air traffic figures.
He said while lower oil prices “should be positive for economic activity, softening business confidence is having a dampening effect on international travel”.
According to the November traffic data, India’s domestic passenger traffic grew by 14.2 per cent, after China’s, which soared 15.4 compared to November, 2013, and was “the strongest performance for any market,” the analysis said.
Indian domestic traffic grew on the back of a 80.3 per cent passenger load factor (or average percentage of seats filled in an aircraft), which was the third in the world after the US at 81.4 and Brazil at 81.2 per cent.
Tyler also said that for Asia-Pacific carriers, “the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 44 per cent of the region’s operations”.
Terming aviation “a vital driver of the global economy”, he said IATA has forecast global industry earnings of USD 25 billion for this year, but that only represents a margin of merely over three per cent.
While USD 25 billion earnings “appears large at the global level, on revenues of USD 783 billion, a USD 25 billion profit represents a margin of just 3.2 per cent or around 7 US dollars per passenger”.
“And it is spread over a highly-fragmented and hyper- competitive industry with many hundreds of players, some of whom are making sustainable returns and many of whom are struggling,” the IATA chief said.