COVID-19 effect: Domestic air passenger traffic fell by 33 pc in March, says DGCA
New Delhi, Apr 30: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, domestic air passenger traffic in March fell by 33.06 per cent to 77.62 lakh as compared to the same month last year, the aviation regulator DGCA said on Thursday.
India has been under a lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. All commercial passenger flights have been suspended for the lockdown period.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data, passenger load factors of all airlines in India decreased significantly in March as compared to February. Passenger load factor measures the seat capacity utilisation of the airline.
"The passenger load factor in the month of March 2020 has shown a sharp decline due to suspension of air operations because of COVID-19 outbreak," the DGCA explained. At 83.7 per cent, SpiceJet saw the highest passenger load factor in March.
At number two, GoAir had 78.9 per cent load factor. In February this year, the rise in the number of domestic air passengers was 8.9 per cent to 1.23 crore when compared with the figures of the corresponding month in 2019.
Indian aviation sector has been hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 33,000 people and killed at least 1,070 people in the country till now. According to the DGCA data released on Thursday, IndiGo maintained its lead position with 48.9 per cent share of the domestic passenger market in March 2020. SpiceJet was at number two as its market share increased from 15.3 per cent in February to 16 per cent in March, as per the data.
The market share of Air India, GoAir, AirAsia India and Vistara was 10.8 per cent, 9.9 per cent, 7.6 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively last month.
In March, a total of 467 passenger-related complaints were received by the domestic airlines. The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the same month was around 0.60, according to the data.
Among the major domestic airlines, Air India topped the list of passenger grievances with 2.1 complaints per 10,000 passengers in February, while GoAir was at number two position with 0.8 complaint per 10,000 passengers.