The domestic passenger count has gone up considerably in the first quarter of 2018, as per DGCA findings. The data put out by the aviation body reveal that the passenger traffic in the period of January to March in 2018 rose by an impressive 23.87 percent. In terms of numbers, total domestic air passenger count had risen to 10.7 million in February.  “Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-March 2018 were 33.79 million as against 27.279 million during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 23.87 per cent,” the DGCA said in its monthly domestic traffic report.

The data provided by DGCA reveals that IndiGo continued to record best ‘on-time performance’ with 84.1 percent punctuality rate from four key gateways of Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, narrowly beating SpiceJet which clocked 83.9 percent. Other major carriers, namely Vistara and Air India (domestic) stood at 83 percent and 76.5 percent, respectively. 

In terms of load factors, however, SpiceJet has taken a clear lead from the rest. While all domestic carriers have recorded significant load factors, indicating robust capacity utilization, Spice Jet continued to record prolific load factors in March and clocked an impressive 95 percent load factor. IndiGo and GoAir followed Spice Jet with 89 and 88 percent load factors respectively.  Commenting on the development, Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet said “clocking 95 per cent occupancy in the traditionally lean travel month of March is an achievement that we are proud of,” speaking to a leading daily.  She added that “for three years in a row, SpiceJet has flown with the highest load factors in the Indian aviation market. For 35 months in a row our loads have been in excess of 90 per cent – a feat unparalleled in global aviation history and a milestone that we are proud of.”

Given the strong momentum in the first quarter of 2018, it is expected that passenger numbers will continue to grow unabated, especially with the summer travel season around the corner.