By: Ashwathy Nair
Over the past two months, the situation in India seems better as the average daily passenger traffic has jumped.
The passenger demand in August continued to be enormously miserable against the normal level.
It is expected to show some recovery, and the maximum would happen from January onwards.
As per the traffic projections for the current year, 2020, the global aviation body shows a sharper decline in passenger demand at a level of 66 percent than it had previously. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the earlier decline projection in passenger demand was 63 percent. On basis of the report, the passenger demand in August continued to be enormously miserable against normal levels.
The flight data which showed recovery in passenger services were shut in mid-August by a reappearance of government restrictions in the face of novel COVID-19 outbreaks in some key markets. Although, the Asia Pacific that has the largest share in the global aviation market of 34.6 percent, in August, it was relatively lesser
impacted in terms of Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs), which shows a number of kilometers traveled by paying passengers – as a comparison to all other markets like Latin America, North America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Over the past two months, back in India, the situation seems a bit better as the traffic of average daily passengers has jumped from around 90,000 in August to 1.25 lakh in September. Still, as per the daily passenger numbers prior to COVID-19, these numbers are much lower. “The traffic of daily passengers is mounting on a weekly and monthly basis. The first quarter of 2020/21 was expected to be a complete washout followed by marginal traffic in the second quarter. According to the expectations, it is likely to see some recovery in the third quarter and expected that the maximum recovery would happen from January onwards”.
But it seems to be a problematic situation with the current trends. According to the experts, in the present scenario, air traffic is still largely driven by laborers and people who travel to their hometowns. This is curbed demand which is not likely to withstand over a long period.
For the recovery to take place, the business and leisure need to come back, which has not yet happened. If these two segments come back, it would contribute to the overall demand. “The third quarter pans out depends a lot on the business and leisure demand. If there is no significant recovery seen in October, it will be against the estimates of most analysts,” says an aviation consultant.
India is still struggling with the first phase of the outbreak of the COVID-19, the early signs of recovery are visible. But, the coming three months are going to be extremely crucial for the aviation sector to continue its recovery momentum.