New Delhi: Data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has shown that 10 domestic carriers reported a drop of 19 per cent in the number of passengers carried during September 2008, as compared to the corresponding period in 2007.
This is the fourth month in succession that the Indian airline industry has reported a slow down in passenger numbers, after having reported growth for over a year. During September 2008, the domestic aviation industry flew 624,000 fewer passengers than what it flew in September 2007. September 2008 saw only 26.76 lakh passengers take flight in India.
Kingfisher Airlines flew 4.09 lakh passengers, while Jet Airways' low cost carrier JetLite flew 2.39 lakh passengers. Paramount Airways, the T amil Nadu-based premium business-class airline carried 45,000 passengers. These three were the only airlines with numbers better than last year.
Kingfisher Red, the former Air Deccan lost the largest number of passengers in September 2008, flying 2.43 lakh fewer passengers in September 2008 as compared to September 2007. It was followed by Indian with 1.46 lakh fewer passengers, and then Jet Airways with one lakh fewer passengers.
Increased fares driven by higher prices of aviation turbine fuel are said to be a large contributing factor to the dip in the number of flyers, driving traffic to alternative means of transportation such as the great Indian Railways.