India reclaimed after two months the top rank in domestic air passenger traffic growth in the world for the month of May. Till March 2017, India had topped the domestic charts for the highest growth rates for 23 months in a row. In March, its domestic passenger growth rate came down to the third position among major aviation markets like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US. In April, the passenger traffic expanded faster and India attained the rank of second fastest growing markets. According to data furnished by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday, India’s passenger traffic grew by 17.7 per cent in May from 15.3 per cent in April 2017. Thursday’s IATA data showed that India regained the top position in domestic revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) and available seat kilometres (ASK) among all major aviation markets. India’s domestic RPK — which measures actual passenger traffic — rose by more than 17 per cent in May compared with the corresponding month of the previous year, the data revealed. It was followed by that of China at 16.8 per cent, Russia at 12.8 per cent and Japan at 10.3 per cent. The country’s domestic ASK — which measures available passenger capacity — edged higher by 14.7 per cent in May, followed by China at 14.4 per cent and Russia at 12.6 per cent.
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In addition, the association said the global RPK rose by 7.7 per cent and the global ASK by 6.1 per cent. “Passenger demand is solid. And we don’t foresee any weakening over the busy summer months in the Northern Hemisphere. But the rising price of fuel and other input costs is likely to see airlines’ ability to stimulate markets with lower fares taper over the coming months,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA.
“In parallel, rising trade protectionism and barriers to travel are worrying trends that, if unchecked, could impact demand. As a business airlines depend on borders that are open to trade and people.”