Domestic air passenger growth in April slows to over two-year low of 2.4% YoY

New Delhi, May 21, 2024.

The growth in India’s domestic air passenger traffic slowed to 2.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in April, the lowest level of YoY growth in 26 months, mainly due to the high base of last year when the domestic aviation sector made a full recovery from the pandemic, indicates the data from the country’s civil aviation regulator. A few other factors constraining capacity deployment and ramp-up by Indian carriers have also been adding to the downward pressure on passenger growth over the past few months.

The country’s total domestic air passenger pie expanded to 1.32 crore in April, up from 1.29 crore in the year-ago month, as per data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Sequentially, the domestic air passenger traffic in April was 1.3 per cent lower than March.

In March, the YoY growth in domestic passengers was 3.7 per cent, while in February, it was 4.8 per cent. The growth was 4.7 per cent in January, 8.3 per cent in December, 9.1 per cent in November, and 10.8 per cent in October, clearly indicating a downward trajectory.

Indian airlines, most notably IndiGo, have been forced to ground a sizable number of aircraft due to supply chain issues and engine problems, which is limiting the extent to which capacity can be expanded. Another carrier—SpiceJet—has been grappling with financial woes, which have evidently impaired its network and capacity expansion ability. In addition to the high base effect following the post-pandemic recovery, factors like these are seen as reasons for subdued growth rates over the past few months.

IndiGo, the country’s largest carrier, maintained its dominance with its domestic market share by passengers carried rising by 10 basis points sequentially to 60.6 per cent in April. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. IndiGo carried a total of 80 lakh passengers in April, against 80.86 lakh in March.