Latest data from the Indian DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) for March reveals that Kingfisher Airlines has seen its share of the Indian domestic air travel market fall from almost 19% as recently as last August, to under 7% in March. This now makes it the smallest of the seven carriers serving the market. The 12 percentage point loss of market share has been picked up by Jet Airways (plus 3.7 percentage points), SpiceJet (plus 3.7 percentage points), IndiGo (plus 3.2 percentage points), GoAir (plus 2.2 percentage points) and even Air India (plus 0.5 percentage points). JetLite (minus 0.8 percentage points) joins Kingfisher in seeing its share of the domestic market decline.
DGCA figures for March also show that GoAir had the highest seat load factor figure of 80.2%, followed by IndiGo (76.5%), while Kingfisher (69.5%) and Air India (68.9%) had the lowest load factors. IndiGo had the lowest flight cancellation rate in March (0.2%), while Kingfisher (6.4%) and Air India (3.5%) had the highest.
For the eleventh time in the last 12 months, capacity growth (ASKs) outstripped demand growth (RPKs) which may help explain the poor financial performance of many of the country’s airlines.
Domestic growth just 1% in March
Domestic air traffic grew at just under 20% in 2011 with growth slowing somewhat towards the end of the year. This year has started with growth in January of 12.4%, the 31st month in a row that there has been double-digit growth in the domestic market according to the Airports Authority of India.
However, according to DGCA data, passengers carried by domestic airlines rose by only just over 1% in March, no doubt as a result of Kingfisher’s rapid cutbacks.
International traffic maintains steady growth
Figures from the Airports Authority of India show that international traffic passing through the country’s airports rose by 6.5% in January, the most recent month for which data is currently available.
The growth in international traffic was primarily driven by 14.5% growth at Delhi and 7.7% growth in Mumbai, the country’s two busiest international airports. In mid-March, Virgin Atlantic announced that it would be resuming daily flights at the end of October from London Heathrow to Mumbai using more fuel-efficient twin-engined A330s.