According to a report by Soubhik Mitra, in The Hindustan Times, a travel portal’s traffic analysis report, India’s domestic carriers ferried 9.5 million fliers — the highest recorded in December last year. The report by ixigo.com also stated that bookings between October and December accounted for one-third the total fliers’ volumes in the year. “On the whole, 2016 was a great year for the Indian aviation industry with most of the year seeing a high traffic of both domestic and international bookings,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder, ixigo. He added, “As per our projection the number of domestic fliers in the month were about 9.5 million, 23% higher than the same period last year.” He also added that holidays and bulk discounts were the primary baits.
“The surge in demand could be owing to many factors such as winter vacations coupled with year end flight sales launched by most airlines such as SpiceJet, Jet Airways, Indigo and AirAsia,” he said adding that some travel portals also introduced discounted deals. Other travel operators concurred. “At least two full service airlines deployed their twin-aisle fleet (seating capacity of 340 ) on busy metro routes such as Mumbai-Delhi in December. That explains the festive rush,” said a travel agent. Single aisle planes primarily used for domestic operations have nearly half the seating capacity.
Industry experts said that the traffic patterns showed that India might have crossed 100 million domestic fliers mark in 2016. “The DGCA is yet to come out with the data but there is a strong buzz in the industry,” said a senior executive with an aviation think tank. Between January and November domestic airlines had catered to more than 90 million fliers up from 73.38 million during the same period in 2015.