April 2022: Air traffic close to pre-Covid levels

Domestic air passenger traffic has risen by 83% Year on year an estimated to 10.5 million. This is quite close to the pre-Covid levels in 2019 – 11 billion. Interestingly, according to a report by ICRA, international passenger traffic for Indian carriers also witnessed a surge to about 1.85 million during the month, marginally higher than pre-Covid levels. In April 2022, the deployment of airline capacity was about 36% higher yoy, with the departures of 81,777 in April 2022 compared to 59,967 departures in April 2021. In terms of sequence, in April this year, the number of departures was 2% higher. But, the domestic passenger traffic in April 2022 was almost flat compared to March in 2022 which was about 10.7 million.

Average departures were about 2,726 in April 2022,higher than the daily average departures of about 2,000 in April 2021, and higher compared with around 2,588 in March 2022. During April 2022, the average number of passenger flight was 128, in comparison to in March 2022 which was 133 that was lower than an average of 135 passenger per flight in April 2019.

In FY23 the recovery of passenger traffic is expected to be relatively fast-paced, said Suprio Banerjee vice president and sector head of Icra. On an aggregate basis, returning to normalcy will lead to recovery in passenger load factors, which will lead to aid revenues, though ATF price will continue to weigh on the earnings of Indians carries in FY23, said by a rating firm.

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