The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in a report claimed that the domestic air traffic in India grew at 17.5%. China in comparison came a distant second by clocking a 13.3% growth rate. India’s high growth was attributed to the economic and network expansion in the country. Ever since regulations were eased in India’s aviation market in 2014, the nation saw a spurt in passenger growth thanks to low airfare offered by airlines.
IATA is a global airlines body which represents 280 airlines or about 83% of the global air traffic. As per their own admission, they “help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues”.
Globally too, the Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), which measure passenger volumes, grew at 7.6% in 2017 which was higher than the ten year average of 5.5%.
As per IATA the main drivers of the growth were a comparatively strong rate of economic expansion in each country, and an additional stimulus provided through additional airport pairs.
IATA though has cautioned that the full year RPK growth will be lower than 2017 due to increase in the input costs for airlines. These input costs include increased fuel and labour costs, which might make it difficult to stimulate demand via lower airfares in 2018.