Cirium weekly COVID-19 aviation industry update – February 16, 2021 (GMT) – Fears of second COVID-19 wave fail to subdue recovery of India’s domestic market


India’s domestic market has staged a remarkable recovery measured by tracked passenger jet flights following an almost complete shutdown during April and most of May last year, to reach almost four fifths of the pre-pandemic level by February 15.

Low-cost carrier IndiGo dominated, accounting for over half of the nearly 2,000 domestic services operated daily on a seven-day rolling average basis. By sharp contrast, total daily international arrivals into Indian airports by Indian carriers were running at barely 100 – well below half the normal level – with IndiGo running fewer than 30.

Cirium fleets data showed that Indigo had all of its 120 Airbus A320neos and 30 A321neos in service, while 37 of its 100 A320ceos remained in storage. On February 15, over 210 of its aircraft were tracked in flight, each spending an average of 7.9 hours in the air which was down approximately 16% year-over-year.

India’s just under 11 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 placed it behind only the USA in the global ranking. However reported daily infection rates among the country’s 1.3 billion-strong population appear to have been declining sharply and fatalities were officially running at fewer than 100 a day, while the economy has been fully reopened.

China also staged a strong domestic recovery following a first wave of COVID-19 infections early last year, but flight activity had been heavily impacted by renewed outbreaks in the run up to Lunar New Year earlier this month.

At February 15, Cirium classified just over 5% of Indian-operated passenger jets as having in-storage status, compared with the global figure of over 32%.