Indian Aviation records 20% growth in 2015

A splendid year for Indian Aviation culminated with a growth of 20.34% for the industry. A total of 810.91 lakh passengers flew in 2015, with the maximum of those being carried by market leader IndiGo. December carried the maximum passengers in 2015 for all airlines put togeather at 77.1 lakh. There were a lot of high points in 2015, which included the pleasantly miraculous turnaround of Spicejet and the launch of Vistara.

December 2015 an improvement of load factors over the previous month for all carriers except Air Asia and compared to last December, Jet Airways was lower by over 5%. While it was known that Spicejet would continue to lead the Load Factor charts, the airline managed 8th straight month with over 90% Load Factor, closing December at 92.1%, up 5% for the same month last year. Vistara, now in its 12th month of operation gave its best ever performance of 77.6% load factor carrying 1.58 lakh passengers.

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Jet Airways has steadily balanced loads and increased network wide yields which is evident from some of its pricing. More details should be known when they announce their quarterly results soon.

Vistara continued its lead on the On Time Performance (OTP) side with another 90% + OTP in December. They were followed by Go Air and Jet Airways. Lowest OTP was recorded by Air India, which was 62.8%. All the airlines saw OTP improving at Delhi on a YoY basis as fog stayed away this December.

IndiGo closed the year with 36.7% market share, few percentage points lower than 40% which was predicted by some large consultancies. The market share is expected to go up as A320NEOs enter its fleet in the next few months. Air India lost 2% market share in 2015 over 2014, so did Spicejet which should see the market share stabilize in the next two quarters. IndiGo and Jet Airways saw an increase in market share.

IndiGo carried 39% more passengers in 2015 as compared to 2014 and remained the biggest beneficiary of the exponential growth in the country. Jet Airways, Go Air and Air India carried 25%, 12% and 7% more passengers respectively. Spicejet carried 20% less passengers which was mainly due to reduced capacity following its debacle in December 2014.

Interesting snippets from 2015

  • 77.09 lakh passengers flew in December 2015, the highest in any month of 2015
  • 220.71 lakh passengers flew in last quarter of 2015
  • The worst quarter of 2015 saw more passengers being carried than the best quarter of 2014
  • Three new airlines (Vistara, Air Pegasus, TruJet)
  • 60% of total passengers flew on Low Cost Carriers

MS-2015fullmajor-carriers-otpLF-2015full

2016 Outlook

This will be an even bigger year for Indian Aviation industry.

IndiGo – will see rapid expansion once the A320NEOs start coming in and could see launch of few domestic and international stations. If the A320 NEOs do come at the rate at which they were initially planned, the airline would certainly cross 40% market share in absence of any serious competition.

Jet Airways – will see focus shifting towards operational excellence and limited domestic addition. The airline could deploy additional wide body aircraft on domestic routes mainly the metro routes from Delhi and Mumbai as cheaper oil allows experimentation.

Air India – will see stabilization of operations and additional of more regional flights. The airline could also launch additional international services

Spicejet – should see stability in network and increased interest from airlines. The airline could also expand on international routes and place a mid sized order for new aircraft.

Go Air – is likely to tweak network and prepare itself for new routes to be operated once the A320NEOs start coming in from next year. There will not be significant change in market share or passengers carried.

Air Asia India – will continue to be dependent for expansion on the policy changes. It needs to be seen how much it will expand on the domestic side even if 5/20 is dropped

Vistara – could see umpteen new routes and rejig in the network due to some management changes. The airline will do well in terms of load factor, which is not a great indicator of profitability.

Air Costa – Will have an interesting year if they launch pan India operations

The weakest links could be Air Pegasis and TruJet of which the initial has not expanded as planned and the later has rejigged its network far too frequently.

Wishing all airlines a profitable, safe and successful 2016 !

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