In a significant setback for the aviation industry, only 21.15 lakh passengers travelled in aeroplanes across the country during the month of May, a fall of over 63% from April when domestic air traffic stood at 57.30 lakh passengers. The data was revealed by the Director General of Civil Aviation(DGCA). The second wave of COVID-19 infections leading to restrictions on all forms of travel is the primary factor behind the fall in air traffic.
India witnessed a deadly second wave of Coronavirus during the months of April and May, forcing state governments to impose lockdowns and travel restrictions. Most states required a negative RT-PCR test report of up to 72 hours before departure for air passengers thus discouraging customers from travelling.
Consequently, air traffic in the country dropped by 63% in May 2021. However, this is a 652% rise from May 2020 when a national lockdown was imposed and air travel was almost negligible.
The number of air passengers in the country is continuously falling after reaching a peak of 3,00,000 passengers in February this year due to a steady increase in Coronavirus cases. The aviation industry has been struggling since the start of the pandemic last year. Before the pandemic, the industry was growing steadily, witnessing monthly traffic of around 4,00,000-4,50,000.
In other data points, IndiGo Airlines continued to maintain its dominance in the Indian aviation industry by increasing its market share to 55.3% in May. It also emerged as the most punctual airline with 98.7% on-time performance followed by Vistara (98.1%) and Air Asia (97.4%) The passenger load declined across the board due to the ongoing pandemic with SpiceJet recording the highest load at 64% followed by GoFirst (63.3%), IndiGo (51.2%), Vistara (40.9%) and Air India (39.3%).