Domestic air traffic grew by over 18 per cent last month compared to October last year as Air India's passenger load factor overshot that of IndiGo which had the largest number of flight cancellations, official data showed on Monday.
Domestic airlines flew 59.25 lakh passengers in October this year registering a growth of 18.31 per cent over the 50.08 lakh passengers flown during the same period in the previous year, the latest data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) showed.
However, the total number of passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-October period was 550.68 lakh as against 507.03 lakh during the corresponding period of 2013, registering a growth of 8.61 per cent.
Though no-frills airline IndiGo continued to remain the market leader having flown 18.90 lakh passengers during the month, its passenger load factor was just over 76 per cent compared to Air India's 83.5 per cent, the highest among all Indian carriers.
Load factor is a measure of how much of an airline's passenger carrying capacity is used or average percentage of seats filled in an aircraft.
An official said the national carrier's low-cost wing Air India Express has logged a load factor of 80 per cent compared to 73 per cent last year.
IndiGo also recorded the highest percentage of flight cancellations at 2.35 per cent, as against Air India's 1.45 per cent, the data showed.
Air India, which carried 11.56 lakh passengers, took the second spot followed by SpiceJet, which carried 10.27 lakh passengers with Jet Airways 9.73 lakh taking the fourth spot, the figures showed.
GoAir flew 5.04 lakh passengers, Jet's low-cost arm JetLite flew 2.42 lakh, Air Costa (0.67 lakh) and Air Asia (0.66 lakh) being neck and neck the data shows.
In October, the airlines paid Rs 88.67 lakh as compensation to over 1,800 passengers who were denied boarding apart from paying another Rs 58.20 lakh as compensation and facilities to over 9,700 passengers affected by cancellations.