During February 2017, the air passenger traffic in the country stood at 21.9 million, exhibiting a y-o-y growth of 14% over February 2016. During 11m FY2017, the passenger traffic has reported a y-o-y growth of 19%, aircraft traffic has grown by 14% and cargo traffic has grown by 9%.
Mr. Harsh Jagnani, Vice President and Sector Head for corporate ratings, ICRA Limited elaborates: “The y-o-y air passenger growth has remained healthy at 14% in February 2017, although there has been some moderation as compared to 22% growth witnessed in January 2017. This is primarily on account of moderation in domestic traffic, which constitutes 78% of the passenger traffic in the country and has reported a 16% y-o-y growth in February 2017 as against 26% growth in January 2017. The international passenger traffic growth also witnessed a marginal dip, falling to 7% y-o-y in February 2017 from 8% in January 2017. The y-o-y aircraft traffic growth remained healthy at 10% in February 2017, although in line with passenger traffic, it also reported slight moderation as compared to January 2017”. The growth has remained broad-based with 18 out of the top 20 airports exhibiting y-o-y increase in passenger traffic in February 2017.
The air cargo traffic in the country increased to 239,700 MT in February 2017, reporting a y-o-y growth of 9%, lower than the 14% growth in January 2017. Mr. Jagnani explains: ““Air cargo volumes are closely aligned to the macroeconomic conditions and experience significant growth volatility depending upon variations in domestic and international economic environment. Consequently, there have been significant variations in cargo growth rates from month to month, however, the overall trend in y-o-y growth has remained positive over the last year. The growth has remained broad-based, with 15 out of the top 20 airports reporting positive y-o-y growth in February 2017”. International cargo traffic, which constitutes over 62% of overall cargo traffic, reported slightly higher y-o-y growth of 11% as against 7% growth for domestic cargo. On m-o-m basis, both domestic and international cargo witnessed a decline of 2% in February 2017.