Economy News

Air traffic hike in tier 2 and 3 cities more than Pre-COVID levels

As per IATA senior official, air traffic in tier 2 and 3 cities of the country is higher than pre-COVID levels.

Moreover, unused and underutilized airports in India are starting to see additional passenger activity.

This is due to strong expansion in new destinations and the deployment of new flights in domestic airlines.

Further, the country’s domestic aviation market ended with 77.34 lakh passengers in January.

India resumed its scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25, 2020 post it’s suspension for a period of two months.

Major transition was witnessed in the airline networks as a result.

Post restart, number in tier-2 and tier-3 cities is growing where the traffic at the airports is higher against it’s pre-COVID levels.

At present, IATA has around 290 airlines as its members.

However, the RDGs mandate the airlines to operate a certain percentage of their capacity by Available Seat Kilometres.

This includes routes classified as category II, IIA and III.

Airlines will get one-third of the revenues from air cargo this year as compared to 12 per cent in 2019.

There are two major reasons for growth in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

Firstly, the government has put a cap on capacity of flights that does not apply on routes operated under the RCS.

The scheme was criticised for its poor success rate in the past leading to many new sectors operating across airlines.

Secondly, most of the RCS routes are to Tier II or III cities.

Hence, these cities saw a sudden growth in numbers, both in terms of Air Traffic Movement (ATM) and Passengers.

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