India's domestic traffic rose 16.4 per cent in September following the strong August growth 18.5, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its latest analysis of air traffic trends worldwide.
"The improvement over recent months is inconsistent with continued weakness in the economy and could be reflecting fare discounting. The year-to-date growth at four per cent is a significant improvement on 2012, when the market contracted 2.1 per cent," it said.
While the capacity released in the aviation market by Indian carriers rose 5.7 per cent, it pushed up load factor 6.6 percentage points to 71.5 per cent.
The second highest hike in demand was in Russia which climbed 12.1 per cent compared to September 2012, despite indicators showing a slowdown in economic activity, while China's domestic traffic grew 10.6 per cent compared to the year ago, confirming the robust trend in air travel.
In the international passenger markets, Asia-Pacific carriers recorded an increase of 8.5 per cent compared to September 2012, "the strongest performance among the three biggest regions" of North America, Europe and the Middle East.
Maintaining that the "downward pressure on growth during recent past months appears to have eased", the IATA study said improvement in China's third quarter GDP growth and Japan's economy are supporting international air travel on airlines in the region.
In September, international passenger demand was up 5.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, with all regions witnessing demand increase compared to a year ago, it said.