Global airlines body IATA reported India’s impressive growth in domestic air traffic in June which marked the highest growth for any country, however, maintaining that there is a visible dip in the country’s aviation growth post demonetisation.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that India registered a growth of 20.3 pc in domestic air traffic in June, marking the highest growth for any country. According to IATA, India tops the growth chart in the first half of the current year. The demand is measured in terms of total revenue passenger per kilometres or RPKs.
IATA stated, “Domestic India RPKs grew by 18.6 pc in year-on- year terms in H1 2017, with annual RPK posting its 34th consecutive month of double-digit growth in June.”
Incidentally, IATA also reported a 7.8 pc year on year increase of air traffic in June. IATA stated, “Domestic India RPKs grew by 18.6 pc in year-on- year terms in H1 2017, with annual RPK posting its 34th consecutive month of double-digit growth in June.”
“The demand for travel is strong, and that, in turn, will make a positive contribution to the global economy. This growth will also further expose infrastructure deficiencies,” stated IATA Director and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac.
According to the latest figures published by IATA, airline seats increased by 6.5 pc in June, while load factor rose by 1 pc point to 81.9 pc.
The Asia Pacific region accounted for an 11.6 pc increase in total passenger revenue while the Middle East reported the slowest revenue growth of 2.1 pc.
How sustainable is the growth?
Talking about the global boom in air traffic Juniac stated, “In every part of the world, airport and air navigation infrastructure is struggling to cope with demand. There are plenty of examples linking connectivity and economic prosperity. This year’s strong growth is a reminder that there is no time to lose.”
Growth in global passenger traffic would expose the ability of the individual governments to provide and maintain infrastructure to sustain the growth, failing which they will be unable to cope with the sudden growth spurt.
IATA reports show that India’s growth in the first half of 2017 was slightly slower compared to the figure registered in the preceding year.
The report stated, “The very strong upward trend in traffic has slowed since the country’s unexpected ‘demonetisation’ in November 2016. India’s streak of year-on-year double-digit traffic growth may have ended with June. RPKs are currently trending upwards, albeit at a slower annualised rate of around 7 pc.”
The report also said that air travel recorded its fastest first-half growth in 12 years, pushing load factors to record highs. “And the peak northern summer travel season is likely to be record-breaking.”
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) always maintained its role in improving the infrastructure for supporting the aviation boom apart from adopting measures like the RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) to sustain its market.