India's domestic traffic spiked in March: IATA

India's domestic traffic spiked in March: IATA New Delhi: After a substantial fall in February, India's domestic air traffic in March spiked seven percent compared to 2012, primarily due to lower fares, IATA said Wednesday.

Releasing latest data, global airlines' umbrella body International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that the domestic traffic rose seven percent compared to a year ago, making it the "second strongest performance" of the Indian aviation market.

The likely cause of this sudden and sharp increase was "a reduction in fares by several airlines serving the Indian domestic market" which boosted demand, it said.

In February, the traffic had dropped 9.1 percent compared to the same month in 2012.

The passenger load factor, an aircraft seats filled on a flight, also shot up 3.6 percentage points in March to 76 percent from 74.5 in the previous month.

The growth path of international passenger traffic showed Asia-Pacific carriers' traffic rising 5.4 percent in March compared to the same month last year.

"Strong growth in the Chinese market as well as an improvement in Asia trade since the 2012 fourth quarter have supported increased demand," the IATA analysis said.

But the maximum spike globally was experienced by Middle East carriers which had the strongest traffic growth of 15.6 percent, followed by Latin American airlines, whose March demand went up 11.8 percent.

"Strong demand for air travel is consistent with improving business conditions. ... Business confidence levels continue to foreshadow an economic upturn. It is important that governments avoid placing roadblocks to recovery," said IATA chief Tony Tyler.

PTI