Indian air travel market showed a “muted” four per cent growth in May, even as overall global air traffic rose by a strong 6.2 per cent, latest figures showed.
While global air traffic performance was “consistent with signs of improvement in demand drivers”, in India, “by contrast, growth was a muted 4.1 per cent in May,” the International Air Travel Association (IATA) said.
“Although there is positive sentiment toward the incoming (Narendra Modi) government, inflation is high and consumer demand remains constrained,” the global airlines body said in its latest analysis.
It said the expansion in air traffic volumes has started accelerating again after a slowdown in the growth earlier in the year, following developments in demand drivers.
“Latest data show a pick-up in both trade and business activity, which is consistent with this recent spurt in air travel demand,” the IATA said, as the figures showed a seven per cent rise in international traffic in May compared to that a year ago.
While a 6.2 per cent growth was seen across all regions, “importantly, airlines in Asia Pacific recorded a solid increase of 7.3 per cent (growth) in May.”
“We are seeing healthy demand for air traffic to support and help sustain the pick-up in global economic activity,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler.
Domestic air travel rose 4.6 per cent in May year-on-year, with significant variation in performance continuing across markets.
Growth in some BRIC nations like China and Russia was near or above double digits, up 9.4 and 13.2 per cent respectively, with economic growth substantial enough in both countries to sustain strong expansion in domestic air travel.
The passenger load factors of airlines, which measure their capacity utilisation or average aircraft seats filled, improved in May, reversing some of the weakness during previous months, the IATA said.