India’s international traffic growing steadily; IndiGo now has 30% of stable domestic market

Jet Airways' January launch of international flights from Mangalore to Dubai

India's domestic air travel market declined by 4.3% in the last 12 months, but international traffic grew by 5.5% during the same period, helped by several new routes such as Jet Airways' January launch of international flights from Mangalore to Dubai.

The most recent monthly airport statistics report published by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) shows that passenger numbers were up 7.0% in March 2013 compared with March 2012. This was helped by the domestic market finally returning to growth (+5.2%), and the international market powering ahead (+12.0%). International traffic at Indian airports has been growing steadily once more after a blip in 2012, when demand fell year-on-year in July, September and October.

Chart: Indian international air traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/07 to 3/13

Source: Airports Authority of India

For the year-ending March 2013 international traffic was up 5.5% to just over 43 million passengers. Delhi (+7.6%) and Mumbai (+2.3%) handle almost half of all international passengers passing through the country’s airports, with Chennai (+3.6%) in third place. Among those airports handling at least 500,000 international passengers, the fastest-growing airports were Goa (+13.5%), Cochin (+12.9%), and Hyderabad (+11.3%).

Growth returns to domestic market in March

The demise of Kingfisher last year has resulted in a period of relative sanity in the Indian domestic market, with capacity not growing excessively, as airlines focus instead on trying to achieve consistent profitability. However, March 2013 represented the first time since May 2012 that domestic passenger numbers had shown a year-on-year increase.

Chart: Indian domestic air traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/06 to 3/13

Source: Airports Authority of India

Overall for the 12 months ending March 2013 domestic traffic was down 4.3% to 116.3 million passengers. Among India’s six biggest domestic airports, Chennai performed best (-3.5%), followed by Kolkata (-3.6%), Mumbai (-3.6%), Hyderabad (-5.6%), Bangalore (-8.3%) and Delhi (-9.3%).

IndiGo’s domestic market share reaches new record high of 29.8%

Latest data from the Indian DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) for April 2013 reveals that IndiGo has achieved its highest ever share of the domestic market, becoming the first carrier to reach 30% for over four years. The carrier also had the highest load factor among the six airlines in April, at 83.8%, ahead of GoAir (79.5%), Air India (78.9%), SpiceJet (75.0%), JetLite (71.0%), and Jet Airways (69.4%). GoAir also achieved its highest ever share of the domestic market, at just under 9%.

Chart: Domestic market share of Indian airlines - Share of domestic passengers: 1/2009 - 4/2013

Source: DGCA

Airport traffic down 1.9% to 159.3 million in last 12 months

For the year-ending March 2013 total passenger numbers at India’s airports were down 1.9% to 159.3 million. A total of 23 airports handled at least one million passengers during that period. Among the top 15 airports, those with a high share of international traffic generally performed best, such as Cochin (+3.5%), and Calicut (+2.9%).

Chart: India's top 15 airports - Annual passengers: April 2012 - March 2013 (growth)

Source: DGCA


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