India tops domestic air passenger traffic in September, China second: IATA

New Delhi: India’s domestic passenger traffic was the highest among major aviation markets at 15.5 per cent in September, followed by China and the Russian Federation, a global airline association said on Friday.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in its global passenger traffic data, revealed that India’s domestic demand — revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) — was the highest among major aviation markets like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.

The IATA data showed that India’s domestic RPK — which measures actual passenger traffic — rose by 15.5 per cent in September compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.

India was followed by China (10.1 per cent) and the Russian Federation at 7.3 per cent.

In terms of capacity, India’s domestic ASK — which measures available passenger capacity — climbed higher by 13.9 per cent in September, followed by China’s (10.7 per cent) and Russian Federation’s 7.2 per cent.

“Domestic demand climbed 4.2 per cent in September compared with September 2016, heavily affected by weather disruptions in the US market, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of all domestic RPKs,” IATA said.

“India and China continued to lead all markets with double-digit annual traffic increases while results were mixed elsewhere. Capacity rose 4.7 per cent and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 82.2 per cent,” it added.

The international passenger demand for September climbed 5.7 per cent compared with the year-ago period.

In addition, the September capacity edged higher by 5.3 per cent and load factor was up 0.3 per cent at 81.6 per cent.

“September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy, notwithstanding the heavy impacts of extreme weather events on the Americas,” said IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac.

“Global economic conditions support rising passenger demand, but with higher cost inputs, the demand stimulation from lower fares has waned, suggesting a moderating trend in traffic growth,” he added.

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