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Demonetisation did not hit aviation: Ashok Gajapathi Raju


Aviation minister Raju said domestic passenger traffic clocked record growth of 22.4% year-on-year in the demonetisation month of November

Demonetisation has not impacted India’s aviation sector that has maintained double-digit growth for over two years, aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said.

“Allaying all growth fears, domestic passenger traffic has again clocked record growth of 22.4% YoY (year-on-year) in the demonetisation month of November ’16,” Raju tweeted on Thursday.

Nearly 9 million passengers flew in November—the highest in a single month ever—compared with nearly 7.3 million last November and 8.7 million in October this year.

On 8 November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said all Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes will become illegal tender, forcing people to line up at banks and ATMs to exchange or deposit invalid notes.

The move was expected to squeeze discretionary spending, including air travel. An airline official, on condition of anonymity, said October to December is the peak travel season and a lot of tickets were already sold in advance. The airlines also brought forward sales that they typically announce in January to November and December.

“You can’t see impact in peak months where people have planned travel already. But we will see the dip after 10 January,” this official said. “Moreover, if you are offering such cheap fares, market will swell for many years to come. The cost of the growth is what is more important for the industry to factor in.”

India’s domestic market grew 22.7% year-on-year in October, supported by significant growth in real consumer spending and increases in the number of airport pairs served, international travel group IATA said this month.

“For Asia-Pacific carriers, the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 45% of the region’s operations,” it said adding, “There was continued wide variation in individual country results, with India and China enjoying double-digit growth rates while other markets experienced much slower growth and Brazil remained in decline.”

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