Air passenger traffic shows 27% growth in March

Tracking a steep climb, air passenger traffic in India grew 27% in March. For the past 19 months, air passenger traffic growth in India has been in double digits and the latest figures only serve to set the tone for the year ahead.
Leading the growth chart, the 27.4% year-on-year growth registered in March in India was more than six times the growth registered in the US, which registered a 4.1% growth. “Although India has been growing constantly , the difference between the two markets is significantly vast for the month of March 2016,“ said the IATA statement. The US though, has a much wider base with a more mature market that is several times the size of India. The US market accounts for two out of every five domestic passengers flown in the world.
Growth in Indian domestic market is being propelled by the comparatively strong economic backdrop as well as sizeable increases in services.The average flight frequencies within India are scheduled to increase by 11.5% year-on year in 2016, said the IATA report. India's annual domestic RPK (revenue passenger kilometres: product of revenue paying passengers and kilometres flown) growth rate has now been in double digits for 19 consecutive months and the country's domestic aviation market leads the global list for highest growth. “The combination of such rapid growth in India and slower (even negative) growth in other similarly-sized domestic markets has seen India overtake the others in terms of seasonally adjusted domestic RPKs over the past year or so, most recently Brazil, which it surpassed in March,“ said the IATA report. In India, it's domestic passenger traffic that is at the forefront of growth, with international passenger traffic currently only in single digit. According to KPMG statistics, for 2015-2016, international passenger traffic growth in India was 7.7 %, while the domestic was 21.2 %.
Elsewhere, growth stayed in single digit and unlike the case in India, international passenger traffic registered a significantly higher rise than domestic. For instance, the IATA report said global demand in the domestic markets rose by only 3.7% in March this year, as compared to March 2015.
In comparison, demand for international traffic grew significantly more quickly (6.2%) than that for domestic travel (3.7%). Tony Tyler, IATA director general and CEO, said that in line with longterm trends, demand growth in March represented a slowdown compared to January and February .

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