Domestic air passenger traffic accelerates in October: ICRA

New Delhi: Lower Covid-19 infections, along with festive demand, boosted domestic air passenger traffic growth on both sequential as well as on year-on-year basis in October, ratings agency ICRA said.

Domestic air passenger traffic grew by 24-25 per cent at around 87-88 lakh in October 2021, compared to 71 lakh in September 2021.

Besides, the same trend reflects on YoY level, with growth of 67 per cent.

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The airlines’ capacity deployment for October 2021 was around 46 per cent higher than October 2020.

On a sequential basis, the number of departures in October 2021 were higher by 18 per cent, as Covid-19 infections demonstrated a downward trajectory.

ICRA Vice President & Sector Head, Suprio Banerjee, said: “For October 2021, the average daily departures were at 2,400, significantly higher than the average daily departures of 1,585 in October 2020, and higher than 2,100 in September 2021.”

“The average number of passengers per flight during October 2021 was 122, against an average of 117 passengers per flight in September 2021. Though the recovery continued in October 2021, demand continues to be subdued from the corporate traveller segment as reflected by passenger traffic being lower by 28 per cent in October 2021 compared to pre-Covid levels.”

Furthermore, the agency cited high aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices, which saw a sharp increase of 94.4 per cent on a YoY basis till November 2021, and this is mainly attributed to increase in crude oil prices.

“This, coupled with relatively low capacity utilisation of aircraft fleet, will continue to weigh on financial performance of Indian carriers in FY2022. Furthermore, the credit profile of most Indian carriers continues to be characterised by a weak liquidity position,” it said.

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