Omicron effect: Domestic flyers down 42% last month from December 2021 - Times of India

Omicron effect: Domestic flyers down 42% last month from December 2021 – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Omicron took a heavy toll on India’s air traffic. DGCA data shows January 2022 saw domestic flyers plunged to 64 lakh, down 42% from previous month’s 1.1 crore.
The pre-delta January 2021 had seen 77.3 lakh people flying within the country.
With the drastic drop in passengers, the Omicron-struck January 2022 saw big airline’s average domestic flight occupancy range from SpiceJet’s 73.4% to AirAsia India’s 60.5%.
While IndiGo had the largest domestic market share at 55.5%, GoAir was the most punctual airline at the four metros — Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai — last month, shows DGCA data.
Now with Omicron situation improving, the number of flyers has started picking up again.
All eyes are now on when the government allows resumption of scheduled international flights that were suspended in March 2020.
The airline industry is hoping that the delay on this front seen post delta is avoided this time.
Regular international flights were allowed to resume belatedly from December 15, 2021, much after delta wave had subsided. But by then Omicron had set it and the resumption was deferred yet again. The industry is hoping that they are now resumed at the earliest.
“International flight options under air bubbles are very few and hence very expensive. The world, including India, is now doing away with stringent testing and quarantine requirement for international inbound. If flight resumption is announced without delay from a certain date, say March 10, then airlines will put more flights in their booking system. The increased supply will enable people to book cheaper international tickets for travel this summer. Otherwise people will be forced to keep buying expensive tickets,” said a travel agent.


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