The deceleration in the domestic air traffic growth continued for the second consecutive month this year with the demand for travel going up nearly 15 per cent to 90.45 lakh in March. The local airlines had flown 78.72 lakh passengers in March 2016. After posting over 20 per cent growth in domestic passenger market for 13 consecutive months till January this year, the demand for air travel dropped to 15.77 per cent in February.
According to monthly traffic data released, 11 domestic airlines together flew 90.45 lakh passengers in the previous month, registering a growth of 14.91 per cent. The private carriers, which include Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia India, among others, increased their share in the total domestic travel market by 1.7 per cent to 87 per cent in March this year compared to 85.3 per cent a year ago.
National carrier Air India’s market share during the month stood at 13 per cent, down from 14.7 per cent in March 2016, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.
Budget carrier IndiGo continued to lead the pack with 30.23 lakh passengers flown by it during the previous month, while another budget airline SpiceJet saw the highest occupancy across its flights among all other carriers at 91.1 per cent in March.
In the month, as many as 1,109 passengers were denied boarding by the domestic carriers for various reasons, according to the data, with private carrier Jet Airways disallowing the maximum number of passengers (913) from entering its aircraft prior to departure. Air India also did not allow 174 passengers to board its flights during March 2017, the DGCA data showed.