India becomes fastest growing aviation market in the world; beats US


India became the fastest growing aviation market in the world in March clocking a growth of 27.4%, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

The magnitude of India’s growth rate can be imagined from the fact that it was over six times more than of the USA, which with 4.1% was the second fastest growing market in the world.

“The domestic India market remains the fastest expanding market, with growth edging up to 27.4% year-on-year in March. Growth in the India domestic market is being propelled by the comparatively strong economic backdrop as well as sizeable increases in services,” IATA said.

“Although India has been growing constantly the difference between the two markets is significantly vast for the month of March 2016,” it said.

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The average flight frequencies within India, IATA said, are scheduled to increase by 11.5% year-on-year in 2016.

Indian domestic airlines carried 23 million passengers in the first three months of 2016 as compared to 18.5 million during the corresponding period last year thereby registering a growth of 24.03%, according to data released by the Indian aviation regulator.

IATA said the global domestic demand rose 3.7% in March compared to March 2015, a dramatic slowdown from the leap year-aided 7.8% growth recorded in February.

“This was driven primarily by performance in the two largest markets, the US--which accounts for two of every five domestic passengers--and China. Domestic capacity climbed 4.3%, and load factor retreated 0.4 percentage points to 81.6%,” it said.

“India’s annual domestic Revenue Passenger Kilometer growth rate has now been in double digits for nineteen consecutive months. The combination of such rapid growth in India and slower (even negative) growth in other similarly-sized domestic markets has seen India overtake the others in terms of seasonally adjusted domestic RPKs over the past year or so, most recently Brazil, which it surpassed in March,” IATA said.

(Anupama Airy is the Founder and Editor of and She can be reached at​, Twitter handle: @anupamaairy)