No longer a force in India? Kingfisher slips from first to fifth in domestic market in just four months
Although only launched in May 2005, Kingfisher Airlines, guided by the industrial tycoon Vijay Mallya, grew quickly, both organically and through the acquisition of Air Deccan, to become the biggest single carrier in the Indian domestic market in less than four years. However, since the start of 2009, it has seen its market share fall by half from 28% in January 2009 to just 14% in November 2011.
Despite its gradual loss of market share as recently as August, it was still just ahead of IndiGo and Jet Airways, but the latest figures for November show that it has fallen behind both of these carriers as well as Air India and SpiceJet.
Load factors consistently above 80%
While rumours abound about the carrier’s future it should be noted that during 2011 (January to October), the airline achieved an impressive 81.5% load factor on domestic services, compared with IndiGo (82.0%), SpiceJet (74.9%), Jet Airways (73.0%) and Air India (70.7%).
International services to eight destinations in eight countries
By acquiring Air Deccan, Kingfisher was able to side-step the requirement of having to operate domestically for five years before being allowed to start international services. As a result, the first international service between Bangalore and London Heathrow launched in September 2008, followed in January 2009 by Mumbai to London Heathrow.
The airline’s current international network comprises 17 routes to eight airports in eight different countries. Colombo is served from four Indian airports while Bangkok and Dubai are both served from three airports; Hong Kong and London Heathrow each from two, though the frontier-busting Bangalore – London route is no longer served.
|Country||Airport||Served from (launch date)|
|Bangladesh||Dhaka (DAC)||Kolkata (May 2009)|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong (HKG)||Delhi (Apr 2010), Mumbai (Sep 2009)|
|Nepal||Kathmandu (KTM)||Delhi (Apr 2010)|
|Singapore||Singapore (SIN)||Mumbai (Sep 2009)|
|Sri Lanka||Colombo (CMB)||Chennai (Jan 2009), Kochi (Sep 2011), Thiruvananthapuram (Oct 2011), Tiruchirapilli (Oct 2011)|
|Thailand||Bangkok (BKK)||Delhi (Apr 2010), Kolkata (Aug 2009), Mumbai (Apr 2010)|
|UAE||Dubai (DXB)||Bangalore (Jun 2009), Delhi (Apr 2010), Mumbai (Apr 2010)|
|United Kingdom||London Heathrow (LHR)||Delhi (Mar 2010), Mumbai (Jan 2009)|
|Source: Kingfisher Airlines, anna.aero new route database|
Over 10% of Kingfisher’s passengers are currently flying on international services and in the first 10 months of 2011, over one million passengers were carried on international flights at a load factor of 75.5%. Despite only operating a modest number of international routes they currently account for just over 40% of the airline’s capacity, as measured in ASKs (Available Seat Kilometres).