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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Delhi world’s 5th busiest airport; IndiGo 8th biggest airline: OAG – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The capital’s IGI Airport is the world’s fifth busiest airport this month, thanks to the revival of domestic air travel despite postponement of regular international flights due to Omicron.
The same reasons have made IndiGo — which flies six in every 10 domestic passengers — the eighth biggest airline in terms of seat deployment in December.
Inspite of the limited capacity and steep fares under the bubble system, India-UAE is currently the world’s fourth busiest country pair for international travel, according to UK-based air consultancy firm OAG.
In terms of seat deployment by airlines this month only four airports are ahead of IGIA (33.5 lakh) — Atlanta (44 lakh), Dubai (35.4 lakh), Dallas Forth Worth (35.3 lakh) and Guangzhou (35.1 lakh), according to UK-based air consultancy firm OAG.
Hubs like London Heathrow, New York JFK, Paris CDG, Tokyo Haneda and Chicago O’Hare are lower down this list of OAG.
“Eight of the top 20 airports are in the USA, reflecting the strength of the US domestic market,” it says, similar to the domestic revival in India.
Omicron forced postponing resumption of scheduled international flights that was supposed to happen from December 15.
“Although data is awaited, so far what has been globally observed about Omicron is that it is not leading to major health scares. Hopefully once that is established and backed by data, regular international flights can restart with all required pandemic precautions and the aviation industry can come back from the brink of collapse,” said an airline official.
OAG data shows IndiGo is the world’s eighth biggest airline this world, scheduled to operate nearly 50,000 flights.
Top four are the US biggies — American (1.7 lakh flights), Delta (1.26 lakh), United (1.27 lakh) and Southwest (99,757) — follows by two Chinese carriers — China Southern (65,837) and China Eastern (63,173). Irish ultra low cost Ryanair is at number seven with 63,000 flights followed by IndiGo at 47,947 flights.
According to the UK air consultancy, out of these airlines only IndiGo and Ryanair are operating slightly more flights this month than they did in pre-pandemic December 2019.
UAE-India, according to OAG data, is they world’s fourth biggest country pair for international travel this month with airlines deploying 17.4 lakh seats on routes between the two countries. Mexico-US (42 lakh), Spain-UK (21 lakh) and Canada-USA (17.6 lakh) are the three busiest country pairs this month.
“Over half of the Top 20 list of country pairs are for intra-European markets while a further 4 are for intra North American travel, highlighting the relative strength of the European and North American travel markets at this time,” OAG says.
The revival of aviation globally is essentially coming from domestic travel as the restrictions and rules in terms of testing and quarantine for international travel keep changing frequently during the pandemic.
A return to pre-pandemic level is largely seen in next three to four years, unless the pandemic changes things suddenly for better or worse.

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