• Airlines shrug off notes ban concerns to fly high in November

    While demonetisation has dampened demand across sectors, the aviation sector has clearly defied this trend and has posted over 20% growth in passengers flown during November.

    Data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), accessed exclusively by ET, shows that air passengers during November has grown by 20.6% over the same month last year.

    The data shows that domestic airlines flew about 7.7 million passengers during November this year, compared with 6.3 million during the same month last year.

    “This is despite the fact that November last year was the Diwali month. So, the growth this November is over a higher base, which clearly shows that there has been no impact of demonetisation on the aviation sector,” said a senior aviation ministry official, who did not want to be identified.

    On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 note will not be legal tender from midnight. Industry insiders say that post the announcement, the bookings fell for the following couple of days but picked up eventually.

    Airlines also announced series of discounts to arrest the fall in bookings. Travel industry analysts termed the growth as excellent. “There could be a couple of reasons for the growth during November. The fares in the industry are low due to various reasons, which is fuelling the growth momentum.

    Apart from that, airlines also announced discounts and that might have helped the sector,” said Sharat Dhall, chief operating officer at Yatra-.com, India’s second largest online portal. The biggest reason, he said, could also be the fact that only a small percentage of booking in this sector is done through cash.

    “About 80% of the bookings in the sector is online and corporate, which is always booked digital. Even among the rest 20%, which is booked through agents, payment of a large percentage is made digitally,” Dhall said.  Mario Addison Womens Jersey

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