India bounces back with spectacular 8% growth in 2009; Kingfisher and Jet share half of market

Image: Air Asia X
Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad will all benefit this year from the just-announced new services to Kuala Lumpur to be operated by a combination of AirAsia and AirAsia X. Chennai and Mumbai also receive new AirAsia (X) connections. Meanwhile, Indian airports’ international traffic grew by a robust 6.6% in the six months April-October.

India’s air travel market has bounced back spectacularly in the second half of 2009 with year-on-year growth in the domestic market consistently over 20%. However, given the dramatic collapse in demand in the second half of 2008 what this really represents is a return to the demand levels seen in 2007.

dom-growth.png
Source: Airports Authority of India

During 2009 Kingfisher lost its position as the leading domestic airline to Jet Airways (when combined with demand for its Jet Lite operation). However, these two carriers still account for around half of all domestic traffic.

Chart: Dom Share
Source: DGCA India

Indian Airlines gained market share in 2009, as did GoAir which saw its share of the domestic market double from 2.5% in January to over 5% in December. Indigo and Spicejet also made small gains in market share as MDLR ceased operations at the beginning of October.

International growth regaining momentum

Unlike domestic traffic, international traffic experienced only a brief dip last February and March. For the period April to October international traffic at Indian airports has grown by a robust 6.6%, despite the fact the India’s busiest international airport, Mumbai, saw traffic fall by 3.3% during the period. However, other airports such as Bangalore (+20.8%), Cochin (+9.4%), Delhi (+6.9%) and Hyderabad (+10.4%), all reported above average growth.

int-growth1.png
Source: Airports Authority of India

Notable new routes from Delhi included Finnair’s Helsinki service which started last September, Jet Airways daily Hong Kong route, and Air India’s Washington service (via New York JFK). New international routes from Bangalore included Gulf Air to Bahrain and Kingfisher to Dubai. Hyderabad’s new international routes in 2009 included Etihad to Abu Dhabi and Jet Airways to Dubai.

Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad will all benefit this year from recently announced new services to Kuala Lumpur, to be operated by a combination of AirAsia and AirAsia X. Chennai and Mumbai also receive new connections to Malaysia thanks to these two related carriers.


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