India’s 2023-24 Domestic Air Passenger Traffic Surpassed Pre-Covid Levels – India Report

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The aviation industry in India is undergoing changes as the market is underserved. ICRA has, therefore, maintained a stable outlook on the sector.

The domestic air passenger traffic in India during the 2023-24 financial year is estimated to stand at 154 million, according to credit rating agency ICRA. This figure surpasses the pre-Covid figure of 142 million domestic air passengers recorded in the 2019-20 financial year. The agency further stated that domestic air passenger traffic witnessed a 13% increase from last year. 

“ICRA’s outlook on the Indian aviation industry is stable, amid the continued recovery in domestic and international air passenger traffic, and relatively stable cost environment and expectations of the trend continuing in fiscal year 2024-25,” the agency said. 

Growth of Indian aviation sector: The aviation industry in India is undergoing changes as the market is underserved. Indian aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia earlier this year said that the country is expected to be one of the least penetrated of the 20 largest markets by 2030 despite its rapid growth. 

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to invest INR 300 billion ($3.6 billion) over the next five years to build and revamp the airport infrastructure in the country. Meanwhile, the Adani Group is looking to infuse INR 600 billion ($7.25 billion) in its airport business over the next five to 10 years to expand seven of the existing airports in its portfolio. 

Recently, terminal buildings at 12 airports were inaugurated across the country, and with it, the annual passenger capacity at Indian airports is set to increase by 60 million.

Australia Witnesses Surge in Business Events From India

Tourism Australia has been witnessing a surge in Indian arrivals from the business and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) events. Nishant Kashikar, country manager – India and Gulf, Tourism Australia said, “Our Bid Fund Program, supporting international business event bids, has already secured five significant events from India, worth over AUD$26 million (nearly $17 million).”

Tourism Australia partnered with travel management company FCM Meetings and Events India and Singapore Airlines to network with Indian companies. 

In 2023, business travel spending in India increased by nearly 25% year-on-year, while the projected growth for 2024 is 18%. 

Akasa Air Announces Flights to Prayagraj

Low-cost airline Akasa Air has announced Prayagraj as the latest destination added to its network. The airline will fly to the destination daily from Mumbai starting May 25 this year, it said in a statement. This is the 22nd destination in Akasa Air’s network, and is the fourth city in Uttar Pradesh that the airline will operate in. 

Akasa Air commenced its operations in August 2022, and over the past 20 months, it has expanded its network to 22 cities. It also commenced its international operations in March this year, flying between Mumbai and Doha in Qatar. Since its launch, the airline has carried 8 million passengers. 

IndiGo to Operate Daily Flights Between Chandigarh And Abu Dhabi

Budget carrier IndiGo has announced its plans to commence daily direct flights between Chandigarh and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With this, IndiGo is set to operate 63 weekly flights between India and Abu Dhabi, said Vinay Malhotra, head of global sales, IndiGo. 

IndiGo is expanding its operations in order to continue its hold on the growing Indian aviation market. Currently accounting for around 60% market share in India, IndiGo plans to fortify its international operations. For the same, it is partnering with other airlines under the codeshare agreement. Earlier this month, it entered into a codeshare partnership with Malaysia Airlines, adding to its strong list of partners.

JüSTa Opens New Hotel in Mussoorie

JüSTa Hotels and Resorts has announced the opening of jüSTa Hollow Oak in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. The boutique luxury property has 16 rooms and is the fourth property by the company in the state.

The company operates boutique hotels and currently has a portfolio of 23 hotels in 10 states. It also has properties coming up in Sariska, Varanasi, and Chail this year. For next year, the company already has plans for properties to open in Jawai, Rishikesh, and Ayodhya.

Air India Deploys Five New Contact Centers

Full-service airline Air India has enhanced its customer care operations by deploying five new contact centers. The centers would offer round-the-clock assistance to customers across the globe, the carrier has said in a statement. 

These centers are being set up in Mumbai, Cairo in Egypt, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for premium services, while the contact centers in Noida and Bengaluru will focus on domestic inquiries. The former national airline recently introduced a premium desk to cater to its frequent flier members, business and first-class guests. 

Air India is rebranding and revamping itself post its acquisition by the Tata Group, as it prepares for its merger with sister airline Vistara. As part of this, the airline also received a new logo, and aircraft livery last year.

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