The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for March 2019 showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 3.1%, compared to the same month a year ago, which was the slowest pace for any month in nine years.
“India’s domestic traffic rose just 3.1 per cent in March, down from February’s growth of 8.3 per cent and well-off the torrid five-year average growth pace of close to 20 per cent per month. The slowdown largely reflects the reduction in flight operations of Jet Airways—which stopped flying in April—as well as disruptions at Mumbai airport owing to construction,” IATA said in a statement.
According to IATA, domestic demand rose 4.1 per cent in March, which was a deceleration from 6.2 per cent growth recorded in February that was driven largely by developments in China and India. Domestic capacity climbed 4.5 per cent, and load factor dipped 0.3 percentage point to 83.4 percent, IATA said.
This is perhaps the sharpest fall in growth witnessed by India as the country had seen 52 months of the double-digit growth.
“While traffic growth slowed considerably in March, we do not see the month as a bellwether for the rest of 2019. Nevertheless, the economic backdrop has become somewhat less favorable, with the IMF having recently revised its GDP outlook downward for a fourth time in the past year,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.