The Ministry of Civil Aviation reported a drop in domestic air passenger numbers since two weeks ago, when Covid cases grew and various states imposed restrictions.
The recent Covid cases have caused the demand for air travel to drop, forcing airlines to rework their domestic schedules and even cancel flights.
India’s largest airline, IndiGo, announced that 20 percent of its scheduled flights would be canceled. Vistra said it will adjust capacity in response to changing demand. The senior Air India official said that some flights were merged based on the load factors for routes with multiple daily flights. Bookings made through January 31 for travel between January 31 and March 31 are also eligible for free changes.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation reports that domestic air passenger numbers have declined since two weeks ago, when Covid cases began surging and various states imposed restrictions.
The Ministry recorded 2.41 lakh air passengers on January 8, down from 3.85 lakh on December 26.
The load factor for IndiGo was 65.8% on January 8, which means that more than 34 out of every 100 seats were not sold. Low-cost competitors SpiceJet and GoFirst each reported load factors of 68.5 percent.
67.4 percent was the load factor for Air India on Saturday, while Vistara had 53.6% and AirAsia India had 59.6%.
Many IndiGo customers have changed their travel plans due to the growing number of Omicron infections. Iair indian a statement, the airline said that existing and new reservations are both eligible for free changes up to January 31.
We also plan to selectively withdraw some of our flights from service due to the reduced demand…We anticipate that around 20 percent of our current scheduled operations will be canceled.” it said.
Vistara’s spokesperson said: “We have observed a decline in demand for air travel due to the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases and travel regulations imposed by various states.”
A close watch is kept on the situation by Vistra, and capacity is adjusted as needed. Whether it’s rescheduling or refunding, we offer our customers a range of options to minimize inconvenience.
As stated by a senior executive of a low-cost airline, unused capacity means that carriers will have to incur the cost of flying half-empty planes in addition to the impact on their pricing. It is impossible to maintain capacity at subdued demand levels. According to the executive, reducing capacity would also allow some room to adjust fares in a way that did not adversely affect profitability.