Domestic passenger traffic up 5% this year

Domestic passenger traffic up 5% this year

Domestic passenger traffic up 5% this year

The aviation sector in India may not be out of the woods but fresh statistics show that there is something for the airlines to cheer about with a five per cent increase in number of people taking to skies to reach their destinations this year.

The number of passengers carried by domestic airlines this year until July was at 376.28 lakh, a 4.87 per cent increase from 358.80 lakh recorded during the period between January and July in 2013. In July this year, 52.16 lakh passengers took flights as against 48.66 lakh in the same month last year.

However, the individual stories of airlines provided by the same set of figures are not that cosy. IndiGo, the market leader, has lost market share by one per cent in July compared to June while AirAsia India, the newbie in the sector, not able to fill all the seats despite competitive pricing.

Except for SpiceJet, which has the highest occupancy, all other airlines had a sharp dip in July compared to June.

The statistics released by Directorate General of Civil Aviation showed that SpiceJet has become the only airline to increase its market share in July compared to June. While its market share in June was 18.3 per cent, it rose to 20.9 per cent in July and was placed behind IndiGo, the market leader for years.  IndiGo recorded a decrease in market share in July (30.7) compared to June (31.6 per cent).

“Our increase in loads and share is the result of our new network, improved branding and product, and most importantly, our dynamic pricing and revenue management approach where we believe flying empty seats, which is the ultimate perishable commodity, is a waste especially for budget airlines,” Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SpiceJet Ltd, said.

Amid the bad news, there was good news for AirAsia India, which flew 37,000 customers, too as it became the only Indian airline in which no passenger was affected due to cancellation or delays beyond two hours. Air India was the worst in this category with 3,630 passengers affected by cancellations and a whopping 15,078 passengers affected by delays beyond two hours.

But the bad news for the new airline was the dip in passenger load factor of 80 per cent in June to 69 per cent in July. AirAsia India hit the skies for the first time on June 12.