Indian Domestic Air Traffic Up 26% in August

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Sept. 15 – Over 3.6 million passengers took to the skies across India last month in a 26 percent increase from the same period last year.

According to the Times of India, this is the first time in 12 months that double digit growth has been recorded as all preceding months had seen decreases in domestic flyers.

“If this trend continues into September, it will mean a big transformation from the gloomy days of the past few months,” said aviation minister Praful Patel. “October being festive season will see good numbers and then the period up to March is peak travel season.”

Patel’s cautious optimism comes from the fact that growth in numbers hinges on several other potentially negative influences such as the global economy, swine flu and the overall security situation.

Overall 24.8 million passengers have flown this year to date from January to August, down from corresponding period last year’s figure of 28.9 million passengers. “Last year also things were looking up when the Mumbai attack on 26/11 changed everything. So we are keeping our fingers crossed,” Patel said.