Coronavirus scare spared domestic air travel in February, shows DGCA data

NEW DELHI: Despite coronavirus’ dark shadow on travel, India saw 1.2 crore people flying within the country last month — up almost 9% from 1.1 crore in February 2019. The first two months of this year have seen 2.5 crore domestic flyers, an increase of 5.4% from 2.4 crore in January-February 2019 period, according to DGCA data released Wednesday.Airlines see the impact of coronavirus on domestic travel has been seen in the past fortnight and will be seen in March figures.

Being a lean travel month due to exams, February 2020 saw modest aircraft occupancies ranging from (among big airlines) SpiceJet’s 93%to Air India’s 81.9%.

While IndiGo’s market share of domestic air travel last month was 48%, SpiceJet was a very distant second at 15.3% followed by AI (12%); GoAir (10%), AirAsia India (7.3%), Vistara (6.7%) and small airlines accounting for the remaining 0.7%.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s data shows that on time performance (OTP) of airlines’ domestic flights at four metros — Delhi,Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. This chart has AirAsia India as the most punctual airline with 83.4% flights on time followed by IndiGo at 81.6%; GoAir at 78.6%; Vistara at 74.9%; SpiceJet at 74.4% and AI at 51%.

For these five airlines, Hyderabad saw the highest on time flights for four and Bengaluru for one (IndiGo). But they all saw their lowest OTP at Mumbai, ranging from AI’s 32.8% to AirAsia India’s 73.7%.

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