'India's domestic air travel demand growth highest worldwide'

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New Delhi, Apr 2: Domestic air travel demand surged in India by 14.8 per cent in February, the highest worldwide, partly on the back of airlines keeping ticket prices lower to stimulate market in lean travel season, global airlines body IATA said in its monthly traffic report today.

According to IATA, the overall global demand rose 6.2 per cent in February 2015 over the same month last year with international demand up by 6.8 per cent while domestic demand seeing a growth of 5.3 per cent in the reporting month.

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"The strongest growth occured in India and Brazil, followed by China, which benefitted from Lunar New Year-related travel," IATA said in a release.

"Demand in India began to improve in the latter part of 2014, partly owing to market stimulation, and that has continued in 2015," it said. March and September quarters of the fiscal are traditionally lean seasons for the airlines in the country, and people are wooed with low fares.

While the overall seat factor of the airline globally remained flat at 80.4 per cent on domestic routes, it rose 0.7 percentage points to 77.4 per cent on international flights during the month, IATA traffic report said. Also, airlines globally increased their domestic capacity by 5.3 per cent while for international routes it climbed to 5.7 per cent in February, IATA said.

On a consolidated basis, February capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.6 per cent, and load factor rose 0.5 percentage points to 78.5 per cent.

"Monthly results were positively impacted by the Lunar New Year holiday which occurred in February this year, one month later than in 2014. Lunar New Year celebrations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, certainly contributed to the robust February performance, but it is also clear that solid demand for connectivity is offsetting economic weakness in some regions including the Eurozone," IATA director general and Chief Executive Tony Tyler said.

According to IATA estimates, some nine million people travel on 1,00,000 flights, which criss-cross the global skies on an average day.

PTI 

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