IATA reports slip in India’s domestic air passenger traffic

Mumbai: India slipped to the fourth position in domestic air passenger traffic in August with passenger volume growing 3.7 per cent in the month over the period year-ago, reflecting the deepening crisis in the economy spawned by slumping consumer demand, IATA data show.

The average global demand for domestic travel, however, climbed 4.7 per cent in the month under review compared to August last year, unchanged from the previous month, as per International Air Transport Association (IATA) data.

The IATA data came on the day Moody’s Investors Service slashed its 2019-20 GDP growth forecast for India to 5.8 per cent from 6.2 per cent earlier, saying the economy was experiencing a pronounced slowdown which is partly related to long-lasting factors. The average capacity globally rose 4.6 per cent and load factor increased 0.1 percentage point to 85.9 per cent on the average across seven major international aviation markets, IATA data show. China witnessed the highest air travel demand at 10.1 per cent in August followed by Russia, which logged 6 per cent growth during the month.

The domestic passenger volume for the US increased 3.9 per cent in August over August 2018, as per IATA. “While we saw a pick-up in passenger demand in August compared to July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well-down on the roughly 8.5 per cent annual growth seen over 2016 to Q1 2018 period. This reflects the impact of an economic slowdown in some key markets, uncertainty over Brexit and the trade war between the US and China,” said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

Nonetheless, airlines are doing a great job of matching capacity to demand, he said, adding with passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7 per cent this is good for overall efficiency and passengers individual carbon footprint, he added. August international passenger demand rose 3.3 per cent compared to August 2018, showing an improvement from a 2.8 per cent year-over-year growth in July. With the exception of Latin America, all regions recorded surge in passenger traffic, led by airlines in Africa, IATA said, adding capacity during the month rose 2.9 per cent and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 85.6 per cent.