Mumbai: Passengers, wearing protective mask as a precautionary measure against coronavirus, come out of the international airport in Mumbai, Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Mumbai: Passengers, wearing protective mask as a precautionary measure against coronavirus, come out of the international airport in Mumbai, Thursday, March 12, 2020.
PTI Photo

NEW DELHI: Air passenger traffic is expected to log a 30% negative growth during this fiscal from earlier estimate of a 20-25% negative growth amid coronavirus pandemic, ratings agency CARE Ratings said on Tuesday.

The agency also expects the airfare to rise in the wake of the social distancing norms. All domestic and international commercial passenger flights are suspended since March 25 for the lockdown till May 3, as of now.

"CARE Ratings earlier had given a call of negative 20-25% growth during FY21 in terms of airlines passenger growth rate, but given the increase in cases, its rapid spread and with more undetected clusters getting converted into corona hotspots, the tenacity of the end of the pandemic is uncertain and is showing no signs of abating," the agency said in a note.

Noting that even as a vaccine is yet to be found, lockdowns remain the only way to slow its spread, CARE Ratings said, "we would be revising our earlier estimate and bringing it further down to a negative 30% growth in air passenger traffic during FY21."

The passenger volume growth stood at 13.7% in the fiscal ended March 31, 2019, while it spiked 3.7% during the April-February period of the last fiscal, it said.

Metros, which are the worst-affected and account for more than half of the passengers handled, the note stated, adding that Delhi Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad airports accounted for 63% of the passengers handled in the April-January period of the previous fiscal.

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