Tuesday, July 26, 2016

June 2016: Performance of Indian carriers in domestic aviation market

by Soumen Mukherjee
Airlines in India together carried a total of 79.75 lakh (7.97 million) passengers in the domestic sector in June 2016. Continuing its dream run with above 20% year on year growth rate, the domestic aviation sector had handled 475.79 lakh passengers with 22.87% YoY growth during first six month (January-June) of 2016 over the same period a year ago. While the MoM growth rate for the month of June was at 21.63%. Going by the passenger growth trend of the first half of 2016 and the planned capacity expansion during the second half of 2016 (LCCs like IndiGo, GoAir and FSC like Vistara), it remains only matter of time that domestic aviation sector in India to record 100 million annual passenger for the first time in 2016. While IndiGo maintained and further consolidated its top position in terms of domestic market share SpiceJet continued to outperform others in terms of load factors with above 90% PLF for 14 straight months and Vistara once again occupied the top position in the on-time performance charts.

While IndiGo leads the absolute passenger growth, carrying 4.86 lakh more passengers than the same period a year ago. It posts the third highest MoM growth among the 'old' airlines and sixth highest MoM growth among all the carriers. Air India is showing a robust double digit passenger growth in the last three months which even crossed 20% mark in the last month. Growth in Jet Airways's domestic passenger volume is once again peaking up after several months of flat growth. Though passenger volume of all other 'old' airlines are growing in double digit, Jet Airways' MoM growth rate still below 9% while its full-service competitor Air India records 23% MoM passenger growth in June 2016. Finally GoAir adds new aircraft (A320neo) into its fleet after a really long time and its passenger volume is showing result with some 16% MoM growth. Even with 20 aircraft fleet, GoAir has not yet achieved its lifetime high monthly passenger volume. And SpiceJet for the fourth straight months maintains the million monthly passenger mark. 

Among all the domestic carriers, Vistara reports the highest MoM growth in its passengers volumes, which has grown to more than double to its passenger volume a year ago. On the other side, Air Costa is the only 'new' carrier to post a negative passenger growth during this period. 

As expected, IndiGo leads the market share with 37.9% in June 2016, though it is short of its lifetime high market share of 38.9% which it ha achieved in May 2015. The difference between IndiGo and Jet Airways (number two) is ever increasing and the former is almost of double the volume of the later. In the month of June IndiGo's market share has surpassed the combined market share of all three full-service airlines (Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara).

Among the ‘new’ carriers all but Air Costa have increased their market share in June 2016. While Vistara both have more than doubled their June 2015 passenger volumes with triple digit MoM growth. 
Air Pegasus has captured 0.3% market share improving from 0.1% a year ago. TruJet, which recently completed its first year of operations on 12 July 2016, has captured 0.4% market share in June 2016.
Vistara once again claimed the top position in the on-time performance (OTP) chart after a gap of two months when it slipped to second or third position. Earlier it had a dream run for eight straight months when it was on the top position. Though DGCA didn't publish AirAsia India's OTP report for Delhi and Bengaluru where the carrier operates out of four metro airports but according to individual airport OTP report of those two airports AirAsia India failed to maintain its leadership position where it was for last two months. SpiceJet has significantly improved its OTP figures as it crossed the 80% mark and positioned very close to Jet Airways and others. Not surprisingly Air India occupied the bottom in terms of its on-time performance in June 2016 where it reported more than 26% of its flights operating late.

Passenger load factors taken a hit compared to previous months across most airlines as an early onset of monsoon season ends the peak tourist season by mid-June. But with no surprise SpiceJet once again had topped the PLF chart with 93% in June 2016 with this SpiceJet had reported more than 90% PLF for 14 straight months. And it has become the king of loads in Indian domestic aviation sector. Thanks to their frequent 'sales', not just SpiceJet, all low-cost airlines have performed much better than their full-service competitors with four among the top five positions being occupied by them, Air India was the only full-service carrier present in the top five. Among the three full-service carriers Air India performed better than Jet Airways and Vistara as the difference between Air India and Jet Airways's was around three percentage point. Vistara once again slipped below 80% after crossing 80% PLF mark in May  2016 but this time it is not at the bottom of the PLF list. Market leader (passenger volume) IndiGo performed poorly and only 77.9% of its seats were occupied during June 2016. IndiGo's June 2016 load factor is worst since September 2015. 

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