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Air passenger traffic in India to touch 407-418 mn this fiscal: Icra

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New Delhi: Air passenger traffic in the country is projected to touch record levels in the range of 407-418 million in the current financial year and the revenues of select airport operators together are estimated to rise 15-17 per cent during the same period, rating agency Icra said on Thursday.

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Surpassing the pre-Covid level by 10 per cent, the traffic reached 376.4 million in the fiscal ended March 2024.

In a report, Icra said the overall traffic is expected to see a healthy growth of around 8-11 per cent year-on-year to around 407-418 million in FY2025, supported by strong pick-up in both leisure and business travel, improving connectivity to newer destinations in the domestic segment and the continued uptick in international travel.

Indian airport operators' revenue is anticipated to grow 15-17 per cent on an annual basis in the current fiscal ending March 2025, it added.

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Icra's sample set of airport operators include Airports Authority of India (AAI) as well as operators of Delhi, Hyderabad and Cochin international airports.

"The recovery in the Indian airport passenger traffic is one of the best compared to other major global counterparts. India accounted for 4.2 per cent of the global passenger traffic in CY2023, and its share in passenger traffic has improved from 3.8 per cent in CY2019.

"While the global passenger traffic recovered to just 96 per cent of global passenger traffic in CY2023, the Indian airport passenger traffic revived to 106 per cent of the pre-Covid level owing to strong economic growth as well as the addition of new airport routes. The Indian air passenger traffic is expected to outperform the global trend,", Vinay Kumar G, Vice President & Sector Head, Corporate Ratings at Icra, said.

According to the rating agency, airport operators, regulator and other stakeholders have made significant progress in resolving the long-pending issues -- cost of equity, return on security deposits, forex losses, and treatment of real estate income.

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