Ten Indian carried a total of 73.22 lakh passengers in November 2015, the most in any single month in 2015 as Indian aviation continued to record 20% + growth in passenger numbers. Spicejet continued its trend of recording 90%+ load factor for seventh consecutive month as it recorded 90.7%, a slight dip, which probably is due to induction of more aircraft. Vistara recorded their best ever load clocking 72.2% in November. Jet Airways was the only airline which saw a reduction in loads as compared to November 2014. The general increase in loads was due to Diwali and the holiday season being in November in 2015 as compared to October in 2014. Maximum increase in loads was seen by Go Air, with the Load Factor increasing 8.2% over last November.
The reduction in loads for Jet Airways may be coming at the benefit of higher yields since the airline has been pushing up its pricing over the last few weeks across sectors, even at the cost of empty seats. The airline could see better revenues and revenue per passenger as compared to same quarter last year when it declares its Q3 results in early 2016.
Vistara continued to lead on the On Time Performance (OTP) front with 91.5% flights on time, while on a pan-India basis market leader IndiGo led with 82.2%. Air India continued to be at the bottom of the table with 73.1% OTP. There has been an overall decline across the country in OTP as airports, mainly the metro ones are congested due to growing traffic. IndiGo and Go Air were down 12% and Jet Airways was down 11% on the OTP count as compared to last November.
Every airline performed badly at Mumbai and Bengaluru on a comparative basis with Mumbai seeing overall OTP going below 70% .
As predicted by this blog last month (Vistara crosses 1 lakh passengers a month mark as market continues to grow at 20%), Spicejet increased its market share to 13.3%, Vistara increased its market share marginally to 1.9% and IndiGo saw a decrease in market share. Air India saw an increase in market share to reach 16.2%, which is still over a percentage lower than last year. While IndiGo continues to be a market leader with 35.5% market share, it certainly won’t close the year with 40% market share as was being predicted by some large consultancies and media. Additional flights operated by Go Air do not seem to have had an impact on increased loads.
While Load factor charts and market share have their own story to tell – Air India, Jet Airways, Spicejet, Air Asia, Vistara, Air Pegasus and TruJet had November as their best month of 2015, carrying more passengers than in any other month. IndiGo carried 32% more passengers than last year, while Air India and Jet Airways carried 16% more passengers each. Go Air and Spicejet carried 14% and 12% more passengers as compared to last year, respectively.
As we move towards the last month of this bumper year, the market dynamics are not expected to change much due to limited or nil capacity addition. The load factors would also be in the range of last year which was already at a peak. The OTP is expected to come down further as fog and congestion has affected more flights than before in December’15.