New Delhi: Domestic air traffic in the first two months of this year fell by 3.57 percent compared to the same period last year, with number of passengers flying remaining more or less stagnant.
Overall, the number of passengers carried by all domestic airlines in January and February was 100.23 lakh as against 103.95 lakh in the corresponding period the previous year, thereby registering a minus 3.57 percent growth, the latest official data showed.
A major reason for the negative growth in passenger traffic was the closure of Kingfisher Airlines and the exit of its 25 aircraft from the market, sources in aviation regulator DGCA, which collects and analyses these data from various airlines, said.
In terms of market share, Air India was pushed to the fourth spot at 18.9 percent by no-frill carrier SpiceJet which cornered 20.4 percent of the market.
IndiGo garnered the maximum market share of 27.4 percent, followed by Jet Airways-JetLite combine at 25.4 and SpiceJet at 20.4 and GoAir at the last spot with 7.8 percent.
The passenger load factor of all Indian carriers in February remained almost the same compared to January, barring Spicejet which showed an appreciable increase.
"This is perhaps due to the fact that Spicejet offered a short-term scheme on various sectors in January," they said.
Other airlines, which followed SpiceJet in announcing similar low-fare schemes, did so in February-March and so the impact on their load factors would be reflected in the figures later, they said.
IndiGo, which had the maximum passenger load factor (average number of seats filled in each aircraft) at 85.4 percent, also had the largest number of complaints registered against it.
Its complaints ratio was 1.8 per 10,000 passengers, compared with Jet Airways and Air India at 1.6 each.