ICRA: Air passenger traffic continues on a strong growth trajectory;records 20% increase in December 2016; cargo traffic recovers from the adverse impact of demonetisation
During December2016, the air passenger traffic in the country stood at 24.3 million, exhibiting a substantial growth of 20% over December 2015.During 9mFY2017, the passenger traffic has reported a y-o-y growth of 19%, aircraft traffic has grown by 15% and cargo traffic has grown by 9%.
Mr. Harsh Jagnani,Vice President and Sector Head for corporate ratings, ICRA Limited elaborates: “The passenger growth in December has been primarily driven by significant y-o-y increase in domestic traffic, which constitutes 77% of the passenger traffic in the countryand has reported a 24% y-o-y growth in December 2016 as against 22% growth in November 2016. The international passenger traffic growth has remained relatively stable at 8% in December 2016.In line with increase in passenger traffic, the aircraft traffic growth has also reported pickup in growth, increasing by 17% y-o-y in December 2016 as against 14% in November 2016”. The passenger growth in the country has remained broad-based with 19 out of the top 20 airports exhibiting double-digit y-o-y growth rates. The growth remained robust across both metro cities (y-o-y growth of 19%) and non-metro cities (y-o-y growth of 22%).
In another positive, the air cargo traffic recovered and reported m-o-m growth of 5% in December 2016, after declining by 12% in November 2016. On y-o-y basis as well, the cargo traffic growth picked up to 11% in December 2016 from 7% in November 2016. Mr. Jagnani explains: “The improvement in cargo traffic has been led by the recovery in domestic cargo volumes in December 2016, after bearing the impact of slowdown in economic activities in the country following demonetisation in November 2016. The domestic cargo traffic reported a y-o-y growth of 8% in December 2016 as against decline of 4% in November 2016. On m-o-m basis as well, domestic cargo traffic reported a 10% growth in December 2016, after declining by 20% in November 2016”. International cargo traffic, which constitutes 62% of the overall cargo traffic in the country, also witnessed an increase, reporting a y-o-y growth of 13% and m-o-m growth of 3%in December 2016. The growth remained well-spread with 17 out of the top 20 airports reporting positive y-o-y growth in December 2016.