Festive demand for air travel on rise! Domestic air traffic count nears pre-pandemic levels

By: |
October 19, 2021 1:34 PM

For the festival of Diwali, which will take place in November's first week, forward bookings are 450 per cent higher than Diwali of last year.

flights, air travelAs many as 2,372 flights operated on domestic sectors on Sunday.

The highest domestic air traffic count was recorded on Sunday since flight services were resumed in May 2020 with a total of 3,27,923 passengers travelling on domestic flights, inching towards pre-Covid pandemic levels. As per data provided by the Civil Aviation Ministry, as many as 2,372 flights operated on domestic sectors on Sunday. Recently, the Civil Aviation Ministry permitted airlines in India to operate 100 per cent of their scheduled capacity considering the public’s growing demand for air travel during the onset of the festive season. For the festival of Diwali, which will take place in November’s first week, forward bookings are 450 per cent higher than Diwali of last year, according to an IE report.

The highest post-pandemic daily air air passenger traffic, prior to Sunday, was witnessed in the month of February just ahead of the second Covid wave hitting the country. Ameya Joshi from aviation analysis portal NetworkThoughts was quoted in the report saying the lowest load factor on Sunday was 84.3 per cent by AirAsia India. The airline SpiceJet crossed 90 per cent load factor a day ago. According to Joshi, having such load factors system-wide is a sign of air traffic moving towards recovery.

On 10 October 2021, the number of domestic air passengers clocked at 3.04 lakh, crossing the mark of 3 lakh per day for the first time since 28 February 2021, when a total of 3.14 lakh flyers had traveled on domestic flights. Keeping in view the rising demand, the two biggest airports in India- Delhi, and Mumbai airports had announced the reopening of terminals that were earlier closed on account of low footfall.

Delhi’s IGI Airport announced that operations at T-1 would resume from 31 October 2021, almost 18 months after closure, with the airlines- SpiceJet and IndiGo. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, which earlier this month, had witnessed chaos and flight delays on account of sudden traffic increase, preponed the resumption of its T-1 to October 13 from October 20, the earlier date. As per passenger traffic data issued by DGCA on Monday, airlines carried 70.66 lakh flyers on domestic routes for the month of September. This figure had fallen to 21.15 lakh in the month of May this year, after which it grew to 31.13 lakh, 50.07 lakh, and 67.01 lakh in the months of June, July, August respectively.

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