New Delhi, April 18 - Domestic air passenger traffic rose to 1.15 crore in March 2018 -- up 28.03% -- from 90.45 lakh reported during the corresponding month of 2017, official data showed on April 18.
The total domestic air passenger traffic had risen to 1.07 crore in February.
Data furnished by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) revealed that passenger traffic during the January-March 2018 period grew by 23.87%.
"Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-March 2018 were 337.90 lakh as against 272.79 lakh during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 23.87%," the DGCA said in its monthly domestic traffic report.
According to the data, low-cost carrier SpiceJet had the highest passenger load factor (PLF) -- a measure of capacity utilisation of the airline -- at 95% during March.
"SpiceJet has yet again recorded the highest PLF in the industry. Clocking 95% occupancy in the traditionally lean travel month of March is an achievement that we are proud of," said Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet.
"For three years in a row, SpiceJet has flown with the highest load factors in the Indian aviation market. For 35 months in a row our loads have been in excess of 90% --- a feat unparalleled in global aviation history and a milestone that we are proud of."
SpiceJet was followed by IndiGo with a PLF of 89% and GoAir at 88%.
"The passenger load factor in the month of March 2018 has shown decreasing trend compared to previous month due to end of vacation period of various sectors," the monthly statistical analysis said.
The data noted that IndiGo led the industry with 84.1% punctuality rate (on-time performance) at the four major airports of Bengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It was followed by SpiceJet (83.9), Vistara (83) and Air India's domestic operations (76.5).
The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for March 2018 stood at 1.38%.
In addition, the data disclosed that a total of 657 passenger-related complaints were received last month.
"The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of March 2018 has been around 0.57," the monthly analysis said.
The data revealed that IndiGo led the industry with the highest market share of 39.5%, followed by Jet Airways (15), Air India (13.4), SpiceJet (12.7), and GoAir (9).
AirAsia India had a market share of 4.5%, followed by Vistara (3.8), JetLite (1.6) and Trujet (0.4).
Commenting on March's passenger traffic Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C) of Yatra.com said: "Even though the passenger load factor has dipped compared to previous months, it is still close to 90% for most of the major carriers."
"The M-o-M growth of 28.03% in March shows a continuing positive momentum in the domestic air market, even in a traditionally lean travel period... We believe that this record growth will continue as we approach the summer holiday season, which is one of the strongest periods for travel in the year."