10:44 am - Thursday June 13, 2024

India no longer world’s fastest-growing domestic air travel market

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New Delhi – Domestic air travel is finally showing signs of revival – globally with India also showing some green shoots – after years of constant decline thanks to the global economic slowdown. While India was once the fastest growing domestic air travel market in the world, it is now down to an also ran with other better-managed economies leaving it behind.

“Indian domestic traffic rose 4.0% last year, compared to a 2.1% decline in 2012. The demand environment has been challenging in view of the weakening economy, high inflation and slowing manufacturing and resource industries,” IATA’s traffic report for 2013 released on Friday said.

China traffic climbed 11.7% in 2013 compared to 2012, the strongest for any market. Russia had the second strongest domestic market, with demand up 9.6% in 2013 on a 9.1% rise in capacity. Japan’s domestic market improved significantly in 2013 as annual demand rose 5.2%.

Australian airlines’ domestic traffic rose 2.8% in 2013 compared to 2012.

US traffic expanded by 1.9% in 2013.

Brazil’s airlines recorded the slowest demand growth last year, with traffic up just 0.8% compared to 2012.

IATA says 2013 saw 5.2% increase in air travellers over previous year. Demand in international markets (5.4%) expanded at a slightly faster rate than domestic travel (4.9%).

IATA DG Tony Tyler said: “We saw healthy demand growth in 2013 despite the very difficult economic environment. There was a clear improvement trend over the course of the year which bodes well for 2014. Last year’s demand performance demonstrates the essential and growing role that aviation-enabled connectivity plays in our world. And with system-wide load factors at 79.5% it is also clear that airlines are continuing to drive efficiencies to an ever-higher level.”

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