Around 21.15 lakh domestic passengers travelled by air in May, which is 63 per cent lower than the 57.25 lakh who travelled in April, the country’s aviation regulator said on Thursday.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), 78.22 lakh people travelled within the country by air in March.
The drop in domestic air traffic in May was due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that had badly hit the country and its aviation sector.
While IndiGo carried 11.69 lakh passengers in May, a 55.3-per cent share of the domestic market, SpiceJet flew 1.99 lakh passengers, accounting for a 9.4-per cent share of the market, according to data shared by the DGCA.
Air India, GO FIRST (previously known as GoAir), Vistara and AirAsia India carried 4.29 lakh, 1.38 lakh, 97,000 and 64,000 passengers respectively in May, the data showed.
The occupancy rate or load factor of the six major Indian airlines was between 39.3 per cent and 64 per cent in May, it stated.
The occupancy rate at SpiceJet was 64 per cent in May, the DGCA noted.
The occupancy rates for IndiGo, Vistara, GO FIRST, Air India and AirAsia India were 51.2 per cent, 40.9 per cent, 63.3 per cent, 39.3 per cent and 44.4 per cent respectively, it added.
India resumed domestic passenger flights on May 25 last year after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Indian airlines are allowed to operate a maximum of 50 per cent of their pre-pandemic domestic flights.
The DGCA data mentioned that in May, IndiGo had the best on-time performance of 98.7 per cent at four metro airports — Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Vistara and AirAsia India were at the second and third positions at these four airports in May with 98.1 per cent and 97.4 per cent on-time performance respectively, the DGCA said.
The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the pandemic.
All airlines in India have opted for cost-reducing measures such as pay cuts, leave without pay and layoffs in order to tide over the crisis.