Traffic doubles in four years at India’s main gateway

Logo: Mumbai Passenger numbers at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) have doubled in the last four years from just over 12 million in 2003 to over 24 million in 2007. This has occurred as a result of the tremendous boom in low-cost airlines, which have taken to the skies in recent years. Consequently plans for a second, additional airport to serve the Mumbai region have been approved with a planned opening as early as 2011.

Image: terminal 2
The airport Master Plan includes a new Terminal 2, which is scheduled to open in 2010.
Chart: CHT BOM 96-07
Source: ICAO, AAI.

Growth has slowed slightly in 2007, from 23% in 2006 to under 20%, while domestic traffic has increased its market share from 60% in 2002 to 70% in 2007. During that period domestic traffic grew by nearly 150%, while international traffic grew by a relatively modest 60%.

Jet Airways and Delhi are leading airline and destination

Nine Indian airlines have at least a five percent share of domestic capacity at this time, though only Jet Airways has more than a 20% share.

Chart: CHT top 10 airlines
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 21 January 2008

LCCs have just over one-third of the domestic market capacity at Mumbai with Air Deccan leading the pack with just under 10% of the market. In terms of major routes, Delhi dominates domestic demand with over 20% of the domestic market from Mumbai.

Chart: CHT top 10 routes
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 21 January 2008
Image: Competition is intense at Mumbai
Competition is intense at Mumbai, as this downtown advertising display shows.

The top 10 domestic routes account for around 80% of domestic capacity at the airport and 75% of domestic frequency. Competition is intense on the top routes with nine carriers competing on the top three routes and eight carriers competing on a further two routes. Weekly departures on these routes are summarised below:

  Delhi Bangalore Chennai Hyderabad Goa
Jet Airways 83 61 49 35 27
Indian Airlines 70 28 35 28 24
Kingfisher 55 41 14 21 14
Air Deccan 21 21 10 7 14
Spicejet 28 14 7 14 14
Indigo 21 21 7 7
Air India 22 7 7 10
Jet Lite 28 7 14 7 14
Go Airways 32 7 6 6 5
Total 360 207 149 128 119
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 21 January 2008

A total of 37 domestic destination are served in all, of which 13 are served by just one carrier. Jet Airways has a monopoly on five routes while Air Deccan has a monopoly on four routes. Jet Lite and Kingfisher have a monopoly on two routes each.

Non-Indian carriers dominate international routes

Image: Bahrain routeMumbai is India’s busiest international airport with well over seven million international passengers in 2007. However, Indian carriers have a surprisingly low share of international capacity with Air India, Jet and Indian Airlines having less than a one-third share reflecting the poor reputation of India’s state-owned airlines regarding service quality. Private airlines are presently not allowed to operate internationally until they have operated domestically for at least five years, a ruling that Kingfisher in particular is hoping to change.

Airline Frequency Share Capacity Share Number of Routes
Air India 15.7% 17.3% 13
Jet Airways 9.0% 10.4% 5
Emirates 6.3% 6.6% 1
Indian Airlines 8.3% 4.9% 5
Gulf Air 4.7% 4.4% 1
Singapore Airlines 3.1% 4.2% 1
British Airways 3.1% 3.5% 1
Cathay Pacific 1.8% 2.8% 2
Saudi Arabian 1.8% 2.6% 3
Lufthansa 1.6% 2.3% 1
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 21 January 2008

The highest frequency offered by any airline on an international route is provided by Emirates, which operates four daily flights to its Dubai hub. Middle East rivals Qatar Airways and Etihad only offer a single daily flight to their hubs in Doha and Abu Dhabi.

None of Air India’s international flights operate more than 11 times per week, but Jet Airways now flies double daily to London Heathrow and Indian Airlines flies double-daily to Dubai. Dubai has the most frequency of any international route with 56 weekly departures, but London Heathrow offers more capacity with just 45 weekly departures.

More options to AmericaImage: Brussels advert

In August last year Jet Airways began daily flights to Brussels which then continued on to New York Newark. This competes against Continental’s direct service to Newark. Also in August, Air India launched daily direct services to New York JFK with a long-range Boeing 777-200. This service competes against Delta’s direct service.

Image: Brussels advert


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