The Indian civil aviation sector has benefited from November, with daily domestic air traffic approaching pre-COVID levels.
A total of 385,661 passengers were recorded at departures on November 14. Since air travel resumed in May 2020 after a two-month hiatus, this was the highest-ever daily air traffic.
In the year 2019, an average of around 400,000 domestic passengers was recorded daily, which was 96.4% of the pre-COVID level. According to experts, demand has been bolstered not only by the festival season and upcoming wedding season but also by an overall improvement in passenger confidence.
During the week of November 8-14, the average daily air traffic was around 352,400 passengers, up 18% from the previous week, and the average passenger load factor for all major airlines was around 80-90%.
To put things in perspective, in October, the average daily domestic air traffic was 283,334 passengers. In terms of flight departures, November 14 saw the highest number of departures since domestic air travel was resumed.
On that day, the sector’s airports saw 2,754 flight departures. This corresponded to 95% of pre-COVID levels.
Simultaneously, during the week of November 8-14, the average daily domestic departures were around 2700, up 4% from the previous week.
Meanwhile, in October, the average daily air departures were 2318.
In general, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that the sector’s aircraft utilisation is higher. Furthermore, during the week of November 8-14, an average of 131 passengers boarded each flight, representing a 15% increase over the previous week.
Experts predict that demand will remain strong in the near term, as the wedding season is set to boost demand sentiment over the next month, followed by the holidays and New Year’s celebrations.