Friday, February 19, 2016

January 2016: Performances of Indian carriers in domestic aviation market

by Soumen Mukherjee
Indian airlines carried total 76.55 lakh (7.65 million) passengers in the domestic sector in January 2016. Continuing its run with above 20% year on year growth rate, the domestic aviation market recorded 22.58% growth in January over the same period a year ahead. While IndiGo maintained its top position in terms of domestic market share, SpiceJet continued to outperform others in terms of load factors with above 90% PLF and Vistara topped the on-time performance charts in January 2016; Among the other notable highlights, Vistara has registered 900% MoM growth in its January passengers figure and SpiceJet regained its million monthly passengers figure after a gap of 14 months.

IndiGo recorded almost 20% MoM growth in its January passenger numbers but could not beat its best ever performance in May 2015 when it carried record 27.69 lakh passengers despite adding capacity and new routes in the meantime. While Jet Airways and Air India came at second and third position respectively, recorded moderate growth in passengers numbers over that of January 2015; SpiceJet recorded the highest MoM growth in passenger numbers, carried 10.11 lakh passengers compared to 5.87 lakh in January 2015, immediately after the December 2014 crisis. It has also regained more than million monthly passengers after a gap of 14 months, it had recorded million monthly passengers last time in October 2014; GoAir too recorded double digit MoM growth in its January passengers figure.

Among the 'new' carrier Vistara recorded a whopping 900% YoY growth in its monthly passenger numbers, while AirAsia India too achieved 116% increase in its monthly passenger numbers in January 2016 compared to that of January 2015; Air Costa was the only airline which actually registered a negative growth in its passenger numbers which saw 9.2% YoY decrease in its January 2016 passenger figures. Both TruJet and Air Pegasus had not commenced their operation in January 2015; 

In January 2016, almost all 'old' airlines, except SpiceJet, have lost market share compared to January 2015; While IndiGo maintained its leadership position with 35.6% market share in January but it is more than 3.0 percentage point down from its lifetime high 38.9% which it had recorded in May 2015; Jet Group as expected came second with 21.4% (combined market share of Jet Airways and Jet Lite) and it has almost maintained the January 2015 market share. But there exists a steady gap of around 15% between No 1 IndiGo and No 2 jet Airways; National carrier Air India continued losing its market share and achieved 16% market share in January which is around 3.0 percentage point down from its January 2015 (18.7%) market share. GoAir achieved 8.1% market share in January 2015 vs 8.9% in January 2015; SpiceJet was the only 'old' airline to have reported a major increase in its market share compared to that a year before. Following the December 2014's financial crisis, SpiceJet's market share fell sharply to 9.4% in January 2015 while it achieved 13.2% in January 2016;
Among the 'new' airlines all airlines have increased their market share except Air Costa. While AirAsia India and Vistara almost maintained their lifetime best market share of December 2015, Air Costa saw a decrease in its market share from 1.0% in January 2015 to 0.8% in January 2016; Two new regional carriers TruJet and Air Pegasus achieved 0.4 and 0.3% market share respectively in January 2016;
As usual Vistara occupied the top position in the OTP chart of January 2016; And it has reported highest OTP for six straight months. But January being peak fog season at its hub Delhi Airport, Vistara's overall OTP was at below 90% for the first time in its 13 months operation. While Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet all three recorded nearly 75% flights on-time, GoAir and Air India were at the sub 70% level. But AirAsia India came as the worst performing airline in terms of on-time performance and recorded just 56% flights on-time.

SpiceJet has maintained its leadership position in terms of passenger load factor and recorded more than 90% PLF for nine straight months. While all other airlines recorded their PLF between 80 and 85%, Vistara was the only airline to record sub 80% PLF in January 2016 although it has improved a lot from the poor PLF figures of early 2015. Though Vistara could not beat its lifetime high PLF of 77.6% recorded in December 2015, its January 2016 PLF stands at second position in its 13 months operation. All other airlines except Air India, Jet Airways and IndiGo, recorded an increase in their load factors compared to their performance in January 2015;

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