New Delhi, Jan 23 - Domestic air passenger traffic rose to 1.12 crore in December 2017 -- up 16.99% -- from 95.52 lakh reported for the corresponding month of 2016, official data showed on Tuesday.
The total domestic air passenger traffic had risen to 1.04 crore in November.
Data furnished by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) revealed that passenger traffic during the January-December 2017 period grew by over 17%.
"Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-December 2017 were 1,171.76 lakh as against 998.88 lakh during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 17.3%," 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 95.6% during December.
"It's an exciting time for us. SpiceJet yet again recorded the highest PLF in the industry. The December 2017 figure of 95.6% reinstates our popularity and showcases us an airline for the customers," said SpiceJet's Chief Sales and Revenue Officer Shilpa Bhatia.
"This is the 33rd month in a row that SpiceJet has had an excess of 90% PLF, a feat unparalleled in the aviation industry."
SpiceJet was followed by budget passenger carriers GoAir with PLF at 92% and IndiGo at 90.8%.
"The passenger load factor in the month of December 2017 has shown increasing trend compared to previous month primarily due to the ongoing tourist season," the monthly statistical analysis said.
The data noted that IndiGo led the industry with 81.1% punctuality rate (on-time performance) at the four major airports of Bengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It was followed by SpiceJet (78.4), Vistara (74.5) and Air India's domestic operations (70.8).
The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for December 2017 stood at 0.81%.
In addition, the data disclosed that a total of 681 passenger-related complaints were received last month.
"The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of December 2017 has been around 0.61," the monthly analysis said.
The data revealed that IndiGo led the industry with the highest market share of 39.4%, followed by Jet Airways (14.6), Air India (13.1), SpiceJet (12.7), and GoAir (9.6).
AirAsia India had a market share of 4.4%, followed by Vistara (3.7), JetLite (2.3) and Trujet (0.3).
Commenting on the traffic results, Yatra.com's COO (B2C) Sharat Dhall said: "The year 2017 ended on a buoyant note for the airline industry with a strong passenger growth in the month of December. Despite localised issues such as bad weather conditions, poor visibility and excessive fog in various parts of the country, the domestic passenger market registered a strong growth of over 17.31% in December over last year."
"With the airlines announcing airfare sales as we head into the shoulder season and a long weekend ahead, we expect that passenger traffic will continue on the same growth trend in the month of January."