Domestic air passenger traffic surges 18% in January, says IATA data

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Despite a slower international passenger demand growth, India's domestic passenger traffic grew by almost 18 per cent in January, a global airline association said on Thursday.

Data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that India's domestic demand - revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) - was highest amongst major aviation markets like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.

According to the data, India's domestic RPK - which measures actual passenger traffic, rose by 17.9 per cent in January compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

"All markets showed growth, led by India, which experienced its 41st consecutive month of double-digit traffic increases," IATA said in its global passenger traffic results.

India's domestic passenger traffic growth was followed by that of Russian Federation at 7.9 per cent and China at 6.6 per cent.

In terms of capacity, India's domestic available seat kilometres (ASK) - which measures available passenger capacity, climbed higher by 16.7 per cent in January, followed by China's 8.9 per cent growth.

The data disclosed that the international passenger demand for January rose by 4.6 per cent compared with the year-ago period.

"This was the slowest year-over-year increase in nearly four years, but results were affected by temporary factors including the later timing of the Lunar New Year in 2018 as well as less favourable comparisons with the strong upward trend in traffic seen in late 2016-early 2017," IATA said.

The global January ASK rose 5.3 per cent and load factor slipped half a percentage point to 79.6 per cent.

"Despite the slower start, economic momentum is supporting rising passenger demand in 2018. That said, concerns over a possible trade war involving the US could have a serious dampening effect on global market confidence, spilling over into demand for air travel," said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA.


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