Kingfisher fights for market share at India’s biggest airport

Image: Dr Vijay Mallya buys into the Spyker F1 team
In addition to having a cool low cost carrier in his brand portfolio Kingfisher boss Dr Vijay Mallya has now also bought into the Spyker F1 team – India is hoping to host its first ever Grand Prix in October 2009 in New Delhi (and thereby delivering a handy 150,000+ passenger boost in the one weekend alone).

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai (BOM) is India’s busiest, handling well over 20 million passengers each year, with growth running at around 20%. Kingfisher Airlines, which began operations just two and a half years ago on 9 May 2005, now operates to 42 destinations in India with a rapidly growing fleet of 31 aircraft, consisting of six A321s, 12 A320s, 3 A319s and 10 ATR72-500s. Based on capacity it has around 13% of the Indian domestic market.

An analysis of the airline’s winter schedule shows that Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai are the three busiest airports in the airline’s network, each providing around 30 daily departures.

Chart: Top Cities served by Kingfisher W07
Source: Kingfisher website

Mumbai offers most destinations

Map: Mumbai routesA total of 14 destinations are served by Kingfisher from Mumbai. On two routes, to Guwuhati and Hubli, it is the only carrier and on Bhuj it faces competition from only Jet Airways. However, many of the other routes are highly competitive. Customers wishing to travel between Mumbai and Delhi have a staggering choice of nine airlines to choose from, each of which offers at least three daily frequencies.

A similar situation exists on flights between Mumbai and Bangalore where Kingfisher faces competition from Air Deccan, Air India, Go Air, Indian, Indigo, Jet, JetLite (formerly known as Air Sahara) and Spicejet. For a more detailed insight into the pricing on this route see this week’s farewatch.

Table: Kingfisher departures

Fourteen of Kingfisher’s 32 daily departures are on these two highly competitive routes. The other 18 daily departures are spread across 12 routes, with each route served at least daily.

Image: KingfisherKingfisher the global brand

If starting up an airline is generally considered an exciting way to lose a lot of money, then buying a Formula 1 Grand Prix team is probably even more of a risk. Having got an appetite for the sport by sponsoring the Toyota F1 team in 2007, Kingfisher’s flamboyant boss Dr Vijay Mallya has now gone one better by buying into the Spyker F1 team and being allowed to re-name it as Force India Formula One. No drivers have yet been confirmed for 2008. India is hoping to host its first ever Grand Prix in October 2009 in New Delhi.

Image: Kingfisher


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