Growth In Air Passenger Traffic Drops To 3.74% In 2019 From 18.6% In 2018: DGCA
India's domestic air passenger traffic growth has fallen from 18.60% in 2018 to 3.74% in 2019, amid the ongoing economic slowdown and the grounding of Jet Airways (India) Ltd citing to lack of funds.
Domestic carriers flew as many as 144.17 million passengers in 2019, as compared to 138.98 million passengers in 2018, data by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) showed.
"This is a bit disappointing. In 2019, we faced headwinds on account of Jet Airways but 2020 is going to be different and the double-digit growth should be back sooner rather than later," said a DGCA official.
The domestic air passenger traffic in December 2019 increased by 2.56 per cent as compared to the same month in 2018. In comparison, the growth in domestic traffic in November 2019 was 11.18 per cent. The passenger load factors which measures the seating capacity of all major airlines, Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo, AirAsia India and Vistara, fell in December 2019 as compared to November last year.
IndiGo maintained the top position with 47.5 per cent share of the domestic passenger market in December 2019, the DGDA data showed. SpiceJet's market share rose from 16.1 per cent in November to 16.5 per cent in December, occupying the number two spot.
The market share of Air India, GoAir, AirAsia India and Vistara was 11.9 per cent, 10.2 per cent, 7 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively last month.
In December 2019, as many as 957 passenger-related complaints were received by the domestic airlines. The total number of complaints per 10,000 passengers for December stood around 0.74, as per the DGCA data.
Among the major domestic airlines, Air India topped the list of passenger grievances with 2.3 complaints per 10,000 passengers in September, while GoAir secured the number two position with 0.9 complaints per 10,000 passengers.
Since Jet Airways shut shop in April, Indian airlines have passed several quarters that witnessed huge losses. In an attempt to fill to the gap created by Jet, the rival airlines slashed fares and increased capacity.
Indian airlines are expected to record an aggregate loss of over $600 million in FY20, consultant Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India said in a recent report, adding that the financial crunch of the industry remains under pressure.