Domestic passenger traffic on steady rise

CHENNAI: Domestic passenger traffic appears to increase sharply registering a growth of 16.97 per cent in August end, indicating the increasing patronage of the people and also the evolving business strategies of the airlines. Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-August 2017 were a whopping 754.11 lakhs as against 644.68 lakhs during the corresponding period last year.

“What matters in this highly competitive market is that the traveller should benefit. The businesses need to keep changing strategies to retain the customers by offering concessions, discounts or absorbing some costs, free travel, or giving hotel vouchers,” said sources in the Air Passengers Association of India. The DGCA’s air traffic reports say that domestic passenger traffic rose nearly 22 per cent year-on-year in 2016-17 to 10.37 crore passengers in the whole year. Traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines analysed for the month of August 2017 show that passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-August 2017 were 754.11 lakhs as against 644.68 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 16.97 percent.

Passenger complaints, however, seem to be less during August 2017, with a total of 599 passenger related complaints received by the scheduled domestic airlines.  Meanwhile, after luring travellers with discounted airfares, several online travel agents (OTA) are now rolling out new schemes to win their loyalty. According to sources, OTAs are becoming aggressive in offering discounts and cashbacks as new players enter the market. The latest entrant Paytm had offered massive cashback to its wallet users, making traditional OTAs up their discount game, too. MakeMyTrip, for instance, is betting high on marketing and promotion, to retain their market share.

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