New Delhi: Indian domestic air passenger traffic fell by 11.8 per cent in March as compared to the corresponding month last year, indicating the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s aviation sector, stated global airlines body IATA on Wednesday. Also Read - Coronavirus Impact: Over 20 Lakh Jobs at Risk in Indian Aviation, Dependent Sectors, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), however, said global passenger traffic dived 52.9 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. Also Read - CORSIA: IATA to continue discussions on India joining initiative during voluntary stage
India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the country till now. All commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this period.
The IATA, which represents around 300 airlines accounting for 82 per cent of the global air traffic, measures passenger growth in terms of revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), which is calculated by multiplying the number of passengers with the distance travelled by them.
“The experience of the domestic Russia and India markets currently sits in contrast with the outcomes elsewhere. Passenger volumes in domestic Russia fell by 15.4 per cent year-on-year in March, and by 11.8 per cent year-on-year in India; both represent relatively resilient outcomes,” the IATA said in its statement on Wednesday.
“In annual terms, capacity increased in both markets this month (March). However, the COVID-19 outbreak began to impact these countries later than elsewhere and lockdown also lagged the experience of many other nations. As a result, the relative out-performance in traffic volumes may not be sustained in April, with larger declines still to come,” it stated.