Spicejet tops Load Factor Charts, as IndiGo continues to gain market share

While reviewing the numbers for March – I had predicted that airlines could cross the 90% mark in Load Factors in May and the airline to do it could well be Spicejet. (Jet Airways leads fight back against IndiGo in March as market continues to grow at 20% )

Indeed it was Spicejet which topped May with 93% load factor

The month of May saw growth of 20.62% YoY as 71.27 lakh passengers flew compared to 60.22 lakh in May 2014. The growth was fuelled by Low Cost Carriers, led by Spicejet recording Load Factor of 93.1%, up 11.8% over last May, while IndiGo and Go Air recorded 91.9% and 89.4% Load factor up 9.9% and 7.6% respectively on a year on year basis.

Vistara – the TATA-SIA joint venture continued to struggle but now stands at a respectable 71.1% in terms of loads, yet is lowest in the charts. Air Pegasus with just one aircraft based in Bengaluru recorded loads of 78% with flights to Hubli and Trivendrum in month of May.

IndiGo further strengthen its position in the domestic market with a market share of 38.9%, a growth of 7.2% over last May. As predicted before on this blog, Go Air has started losing market share and is now down to 8.6%. The slide would stabilize for a while till Air Asia India and Vistara start their next round of expansion around October.

Spicejet continues to have lower market share than what it had last year, but improved almost one percent month on month. Both Air India and Jet Airways lost market share in May over April. The slide is steep for Air India on YoY basis where it has lost 2.8%.

The two major airports – Mumbai and Delhi see an interesting split in Full Service Carriers (FSC) and Low Cost Carriers (LCC) split. While the ratio is 52:48 in Mumbai it is 51:49 in Delhi.

Load Factor - May 2015Market Share May 2015

On Time Performance

While Spicejet continues to work on its turnaround, its operations still have a lot of work to do and the airline continues to have the lowest On Time Performance (OTP) at 72.1%. Amongst larger pan Indian Airlines, Jet Airways had the best OTP at 83.6%.

Vistara and Air Asia India recorded OTP of 98.5% and 86.7% respectively. The real challenge for both airlines will only be in July, which will be first full month of full aircraft utilization for both the airlines along with monsoons. IndiGo’s slide in OTP since the beginning of summer schedule has not yet reversed.

Countrywide the OTP was down over last year, with most airlines struggling to cross 85% OTP. For some time I have been tracking and there seems to be a co-relation between higher loads and lower OTP, a phenomenon which repeats itself in the month of December.

OTP - May 2015OTP Variance

 June Outlook

The three wet leased aircraft of Spicejet left Indian skies in first half of June and there was only one aircraft which replaced them. This would lead to further delay in the network and no respite in the bottom place they hold on the OTP front. However, the airline will continue to see higher loads in the 85%-91% load factor bracket for June as well. Air Asia and Vistara are likely to add more market share due to the new flights which they have launched.

It would be testing times for Go Air and Air Costa. Full service carrier Jet Airways seems to have got the right mix of Loads and Operations with good loads and industry high OTP. With a complex operation as compared to IndiGo or Spicejet, the airline indeed seems to be doing well and working as a unit.

Airline Summary

  • Spicejet will continue to struggle with OTP but gain marginal market share on the back of highest loads
  • IndiGo will see minor improvement in its OTP – which has been very slow for last two months
  • GoAir will stabilize at the lower market share it now has
  • Jet Airways will see minor increase in load factors in June and flat market share growth
  • Air India will lose some market share
  • Air Costa will lose market share
  • Air Asia India will gain market share and improve loads
  • Vistara could see a drop in loads as the group business will not be very active in later half of June

LF - 2015LF & MS variance

 Link to previous predictions and analysis

20% more passengers fly in April, as IndiGo corners 37.8% market

Jet Airways leads the fight back against IndiGo in March as market continues to grow at 20%+

Over 20% more passengers fly this february, IndiGo widens the lead

Leading the pack yet again – IndiGo now corners 36.4% market share



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