Indian aviation veers toward non-metros in December, 13 cities see traffic better than pre-COVID levels

December has seen air passenger traffic touch a new high in at least 13 cities, with numbers higher than pre-COVID-19 levels.

All the 13 are tier- 2 and 3 cities, underlining the recent trend in Indian aviation, where passenger traffic has picked up better in smaller destinations than in the metros. The list includes Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, Ludhiana, Belgaum and Srinagar.

This is an improvement from November when six cities saw a year-on-year improvement. This is based on data from the Airports Authority of India.

“Domestic airline operations in December 2020 continued the gradual streak of improvement and stood at 57 percent of pre-COVID levels (v/s ~49 percent in November 2020),” analysts Swarnendu Bhushan and Sarfraz Bhimani of Motilal Oswal had said in a recent report.

“We reaffirm that optimism over the vaccine could certainly result in increased flying confidence. Also, the reopening of physical offices would require migrant employees to fly back to their job cities,” they added.

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