Battle for second place heats up in Indian skies as February registers 20% sequential growth

The Indian domestic aviation market braved the Omicron led wave which started in the last days of December last year and tapered off towards end of February. Airlines carried 76.96 lakh passengers in February, a growth of 20% over the previous month when traffic was muted as cases in the third wave were at its peak and restrictions returned across many states and airports in the country.

This also translated into better load factors for the airline. SpiceJet continued to lead the load factor charts with 89.1% load factor in February. It was followed by Vistara at 87.1% and Go First at 87%.

This was the first full month of operations of Air India as a private carrier and the airline took a quantum leap in the load factors!

The battle for market share heats up!

The Indian domestic market has an undisputed leader in the form of IndiGo. With over half the market share, no other player is close to challenging IndiGo – at least in near future. However, IndiGo lost some market share in February, over the previous month. The market share in February stood at 51.3%, down from 55.5% recorded in January.

Air India’s high load factors aided the airline to jump to the second position with 11.1% market share, pushing SpiceJet to number three with 10.7% market share. Vistara recorded 9.7% market share which further pushed Go First lower in the order at 9.5% market share. Go First had recorded second best market share in December 2021!

The second place in Indian market is literally up for grabs and has changed hands often in the last few months.

OTP & Popular routes

IndiGo maintained its famed On Time Performance, clocking 95.4% at four metro airports. The airline was followed by Go First, Vistara, SpiceJet, Air India, AirAsia India and Alliance Air.

Return of traffic has also meant that certain routes saw seats sold in highest fare brackets. Below are the airlines and sectors where the airlines sold over 1% of their seats in highest fare brackets

Air India:

  1. Delhi – Srinagar

IndiGo

  1. Bengaluru – Mumbai
  2. Bengaluru – Kolkata
  3. Mumbai – Hyderabad
  4. Mumbai – Chennai

Go First

  1. Bengaluru – Kolkata
  2. Mumbai – Srinagar
  3. Delhi – Leh
  4. Chennai – Port Blair

Vistara

  1. Mumbai – Kolkata
  2. Kolkata – Delhi
  3. Delhi – Leh
  4. Delhi – Srinagar

Tail Note

March has been interesting thus far. A raging war leading to all time high oil prices, passenger numbers steadily increasing and stabilising and airlines deploying lesser flights to cater to higher passenger numbers – which helps reduce costs and have relatively higher fares!

As the schedule transitions to Summer, later this week – this could be a summer to remember for airlines! The battle for number two position in Indian skies will only get bitter from here on.

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