scorecardresearch
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022
Premium

Aviation upturn sees new trends: tourism routes popular; curbs in China benefit India

According to data, domestic airlines deployed 3.27 lakh seats on the Delhi-Srinagar route in June 2022, nearly twice the 1.68 lakh in June 2019. Similarly, the Delhi-Goa route saw 2.07 lakh seats in June 2022, much higher than 1.66 lakh in June 2019.

aviation sector, Indian Aviation industry, India tourism industry, Goa Tourism, India tourism, Business news, Indian express business news, Indian express, Indian express news, Current AffairsOn the domestic front, the numbers show a push for tourism routes and direct connectivity to smaller airports. At the same time, international passenger traffic for Indian carriers has already surpassed pre-Covid levels with airlines that were dependent on China and the far-east now looking at other geographies, including India.

The steady recovery in India’s commercial aviation sector has lifted traffic to near pre-Covid levels — but with a clear realignment in capacities and routes.

On the domestic front, the numbers show a push for tourism routes and direct connectivity to smaller airports. At the same time, international passenger traffic for Indian carriers has already surpassed pre-Covid levels with airlines that were dependent on China and the far-east now looking at other geographies, including India.

Within the country, destinations such as Srinagar and Goa have seen significant capacity addition by airlines, which underlines the “revenge travel trend” after the Covid curbs. But the relatively slower rebound in business travel means trunk routes like Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai, Mumbai-Bengaluru and Delhi-Hyderabad remain subdued.

According to data sourced from aviation analytics and consultancy firm OAG, domestic airlines deployed 3.27 lakh seats on the Delhi-Srinagar route in June 2022, nearly twice the 1.68 lakh in June 2019. Similarly, the Delhi-Goa route saw 2.07 lakh seats in June 2022, much higher than 1.66 lakh in June 2019.

Subscriber Only Stories
Dibang hydel project: Arunachal says no land for national park, NGT drops...Premium
15 stations, 14 km: Shimla aims to decongest roads with ropeway transitPremium
Vijay Rupani interview: ‘The legislature party meeting is merely a ...Premium
What the Rajasthan political crisis highlights: Congress effectively has ...Premium

This year’s summer schedule also saw the addition of direct connections to Srinagar from non-metro cities such as Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. The seat capacity data includes numbers for both sectors on a given route.

 

Another emerging trend is the increasing direct connectivity to smaller airports. “…in 2019, just over one-third of capacity growth between 2016 and 2019 in India’s domestic market came from new routes that were not previously operating. OAG’s capacity data also shows that there are 24 domestic routes operating in March 2022 to and from Delhi that were not operating before 2017,” OAG’s Regional Sales Director — JAPAC Mayur Patel said.

At the same time, some hub routes are yet to recover to pre-Covid levels. For example, the Delhi-Mumbai route saw 6.18 lakh seats in June this year, lower from 6.66 lakh in June 2019. The third highest route with the most seats in June 2019 — the Mumbai-Bengaluru route — had airlines deploying 3.28 lakh seats last month, almost as much as Delhi-Srinagar, compared to 3.94 lakh three years ago.

Advertisement

Domestic passenger traffic continues to inch closer to 2019 levels. According to the latest available data provided by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), 120.81 lakh passengers flew domestically in May this year, compared to 121.87 lakh in May 2019.

In October 2021, the Ministry of Civil Aviation fully lifted the Covid-related capacity restrictions that were imposed on domestic flights in May 2020.

On the international front, India reverted to the pre-Covid scheduled operations and bilateral capacity agreements from March 27 this year. As per ICRA, since then, international passenger traffic for Indian carriers surged to around 21 lakh in June this year, compared to approximately 18 lakh in June 2019.

Advertisement

Foreign airlines that were dependent on China and the far-east for a meaningful portion of their traffic are now looking at other geographies, such as India and the US, to deploy surplus capacities. This strategy has been further intensified with the various airspace closures and restrictions in light of the Ukraine crisis.

Singapore Airlines, for example, is witnessing strong load factors on all of its India flights and is looking to add to its number of India flights over the next two schedules. Similarly, Helsinki-based Finnair is adding capacity to India, resuming its suspended flight from Helsinki to Mumbai, given the idle capacity because of the China restrictions and Russia airspace closure.

“We used to operate more than 40 weekly flights to China, but at the moment we only have one. Even on that one flight, our capacity is restricted. Also, because of the (Ukraine) war and the airspace closures, a big part of our network in Asia is closed, mainly China and Japan. We have been forced to restructure our network accordingly,” Sakari Romu, General Manager, India, for Finnair, told The Indian Express.

“That’s why we have been looking at Southeast Asia, India and the US where we have added quite a lot of capacity. From August 5, we are reopening the Helsinki-Mumbai connection. We are starting with three weekly flights, and from November onwards we’ll have four. We are also looking at opportunities for other destinations ready to be connected in India,” he said.

“(The Ukraine crisis) is also affecting our flights to India but if we look at destinations in Southeast Asia, the flying times have increased by 30-40 per cent, but with India the added flight time is little bit more than 10 per cent. So the effect is not that big,” Romu said.

First published on: 18-07-2022 at 04:35:10 am
Next Story

Dilapidated building: Child commission asks govt school students to be shifted

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement