Indian carriers continue to see an increase in domestic traffic for August, reporting a third consecutive month of traffic improvement amid an easing of domestic travel restrictions. 

Data released by the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shows that India’s carriers flew about 6.7 million domestic passengers in August, 34% higher month on month. 

Air India A320neo

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The number of domestic passengers is also more than double compared to the relatively low base in August 2020. 

However, when compared to pre-pandemic 2019, Indian carriers carried 43% fewer domestic passengers — an indication that full domestic recovery remains a distant goal. 

State-owned Air India carried around 890,000 domestic passengers in August, a 33% jump month on month, DGCA data shows. 

Among the privately-owned Indian carriers, low-cost carrier IndiGo captured the lion’s share of domestic traffic, carrying 3.8 million passengers for the month. This is followed by fellow low-cost carrier SpiceJet, at 584,000 passengers, and full-service airline Vistara, which flew 558,000 domestic passengers. 

Indian passenger traffic hit rock bottom in May and June amid a particularly lethal wave of coronavirus infections. 

Since then, traffic has steadily climbed upward, with India’s civil aviation ministry allowing airlines to raise domestic flight capacity to 65% of pre-Covid levels since July.