The deceleration in domestic air traffic growth continues for the second consecutive month this year, with the demand for travel going up nearly 15% to nine million in March, according to the monthly traffic data released on Thursday. Domestic airlines had flown 7.8 million passengers in March 2016. After posting over 20% growth in domestic passenger market for the 13 consecutive months till January this year, the demand for air travel dropped to 15.77% in February.
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% to 87% in March this year, compared to 85.3% a year ago. National carrier Air India’s market share during the month stood at 13%, down from 14.7% in March 2016, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.
IndiGo continued to lead the pack with three million passengers, while SpiceJet saw the highest occupancy across its flights among all other carriers at 91.1% in March. According to the data, as many as 1,109 passengers were denied boarding in March by the domestic carriers for various reasons, with private carrier Jet Airways disallowing the maximum number of passengers — 913 — from entering its aircraft prior to departure.