Domestic Passenger Traffic Declined 37% In February: ICRA


As per the report of IRCA, Domestic passenger traffic in India declined 37% to 78 lakh passengers in February 2021. The sequential growth also slowed down for the second consecutive month in February with a nearly flat growth over January 2021.

Kinjal Shah, Vice President, ICRA, said, “The average number of passengers per flight during February 2021 was 121, against an average of 136 passengers per flight in February 2020. Thus, it is expected that the domestic aviation industry operated at a passenger load factor of 78% in February 2021, against 87.7% in February 2020, that too on a low capacity.”

The Indian aviation industry has witnessed a continued recovery in domestic passenger traffic in February 2021. However, the pace of growth slowed down for the second month in February 2021, with a sequential growth (over January 2021) of ~1% to ~78 lakh passengers.

The capacity deployment in February 2021 at ~71% (vis-a-vis February 2020) is a significant increase over the ~59% capacity deployed in November 2020 and ~67% in December 2020, very near the ~71% increase in January 2021. On a YoY basis, however, domestic passenger traffic declined by ~37%.


According to Shah “The number of flights departing has also gradually increased from 416 on Day 1 to 2,885 on Day 267 (February 14, 2021). For February 2021, the average daily departures were ~2,296, significantly lower than the average daily departures of 3,137 in February 2020, though better than ~2,190 in January 2021.

The PLF for February 2021 was higher than the ~73% in January 2021, due to the decline in capacity deployment by ~5%. Overall, from May 25, 2020 till February 28, 2021, domestic passenger traffic has been pegged at ~45.6 million.”

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) permitted increasing the capacity to 45%, with effect from June 27, 2020; post the initial recommencement of operations of the scheduled domestic flights, with effect from May 25, 2020 to a limited extent i.e. a maximum 1/3rd of their respective approved capacity of the Summer Schedule 2020. It further permitted increasing the capacity to 60%, with effect from September 02, 2020 to 70%, with effect from November 11, 2020 and further to 80%, with effect from December 03, 2020.

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