India achieved fastest domestic passenger growth in 2015: IATA

Montreal/New Delhi: India achieved the fastest domestic passenger growth in 2015, a leading global airlines association has said. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its "World Air Transport Statistics", released on Tuesday, that India achieved an annual growth of 18.8 per cent in a market of 80 million domestic passengers during 2015. “India’s performance surpassed that of Russia (11.9 per cent growth, in a market of 47 million domestic passengers), China (9.7 per cent growth, in a market of 394 million domestic passengers) and the United States (5.4 per cent growth, in a market of 708 million domestic passengers),” IATA said. The global airlines association pointed out that India outpaced the rest of the major markets such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, the Russian Federation and the US, in terms of passenger load factor (PLF) and revenue passenger kilometres (RPK). The data showed that in 2015, India's RPK -- a gauge that measures actual passenger traffic -- rose by 17.2 per cent. Similarly, the 2015 PLF increased by 6.4 per cent to 82.8 per cent. Besides, India was ranked as the third largest passenger market in Asia, after Japan and China. Earlier, data furnished by the Indian civil aviation ministry revealed that domestic air passenger traffic increased by 20.34 per cent in 2015. "Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-December 2015 were 810.91 lakh as against 673.83 lakh during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 20.34 per cent," the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said. Tony Tyler, Director General and Chief Executive of IATA, elaborated that in 2015 airlines ferried 3.6 billion passengers and transported 52.2 million tonnes of cargo. "Last year airlines safely carried 3.6 billion passengers -- the equivalent of 48 per cent of the Earth’s population -- and transported 52.2 million tonnes of cargo worth around $6 trillion. In doing so, we supported some $2.7 trillion in economic activity and 63 million jobs," Tyler said.