Air routes in India: India’s domestic air passenger traffic has been growing exponentially and while the top air routes, in terms of the number of seats deployed, have by and large remained the same, some air routes connecting tier 2 cities have made significant gains in the past few years. While Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi, Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi, Mumbai-Bengaluru-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi and Delhi-Hyderabad-Delhi dominated as the top five air routes in terms of passenger seats, routes like Delhi-Pune-Delhi, Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi and Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi have grown significantly between 2007 and 2017 in terms of the number of seats allocated in the following three years, The Indian Express reported.
However, there has been a downward movement for certain routes. Mumbai-Chennai-Mumbai, Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kolkata-Mumbai sectors have fallen down the order from 2007 to 2017. Mumbai-Chennai-Mumbai route is down from the third in 2007 to 10th place in 2017. Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai route was at eighth in 2007 but has now dropped to 15th in 2017. Mumbai-Kolkata-Mumbai, another key sector, is down from 12th in 2007 to the 17th spot in 2017 in terms of the number of seats deployed, the report said.
In 2017, for Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi sector, top airlines allocated 86.18 lakh seats, Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi got 48.23 lakh seats while the Mumbai-Bengaluru-Mumbai route was allocated 39.27 lakh seats. Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi route was allocated 36.87 lakh seats and 30.71 seats were allocated to the Delhi-Hyderabad-Delhi route. The data from civil aviation research firm OAG shows top airlines allocated nearly 47 per cent of the seats to these top five sectors in 2017.
Earlier in January, the International Air Transport Association had revealed that the country’s domestic air passenger traffic grew by 16.4 per cent in November last year. This had helped India top the growth chart worldwide. The IATA, which comprises major airlines, said India continued to witness double-digit growth for the 39th consecutive month. Globally, the available seat kilometeres (ASKs) or capacity grew by 6.3 per cent. The ASK for India was at 10.4 per cent, second only to China where capacity grew by 12.9 per cent, according to global aviation body.