March 2022: Battle for second place in Indian skies continues

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) declared the traffic statistics for March, coming just days after the country recorded its highest post COVID passenger traffic which led to crossing of 4 lakh passenger mark for the first time since restart of civil aviation. 

March saw Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) at new highs, which have carried forward to April but the traffic remained resilient reaching 1 crore 6 lakh passengers (106.96 lakh). The Holi weekend aided the traffic, though it took the long weekend of Ambedkar Jayanti, Easter and Ram Navmi to inch past the four lakh mark.

The market dynamics remain more or less the same. SpiceJet topped the load factor charts and clocked 86.9% load factor. It was followed by Vistara at 86.1%, Air India at 85% and the trio of LCCs AirAsia India, IndiGo and Go FIRST at 81.3%, 81% and 81.4% respectively.

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

On the market share front, IndiGo managed to continue with its 50% + market share garnering 54.8% market share,  gaining a bit over the previous month. The airline had lost a significant share in February over January. The coveted second spot in terms of market share was taken over by Go FIRST at 9.8%, SpiceJet was relegated to third spot again with 9.5% market share. 

TruJet – which had talked about investments coming in – did not carry any passengers in March.

OTP and Popular Routes

The On Time Performance across airlines continued to be good except for Alliance Air – the only government owned airline. IndiGo topped the charts with 93.9% OTP at four major airports and was followed by Go FIRST at 93%. Vistara, AirAsia India, Air India and SpiceJet were closely spaced at 91.9%, 91.3%, 91.2% and 90.4% respectively.

Return of traffic has also meant that certain routes saw seats sold in the highest fare brackets. Below are the airlines and sectors where the airlines sold over 1% of their seats in highest fare brackets. Data shows that flights to Srinagar and Leh, followed by those to Port Blair were the most popular with fares hitting the roof in some cases.

Air India

Kolkata – Port Blair

Delhi – Leh

Delhi – Patna

Delhi – Srinagar

Chennai – Port Blair

IndiGo

Bengaluru – Mumbai

Mumbai – Hyderabad

Kolkata – Port Blair

Delhi – Hyderabad

Delhi – Leh

Delhi – Srinagar

Chennai – Port Blair

Go FIRST

Bengaluru – Mumbai

Mumbai – Srinagar

Kolkata – Guwahati

Kolkata – Port Blair

Delhi – Hyderabad

Delhi – Leh

Delhi – Srinagar

Chennai – Port Blair

SpiceJet

Mumbai – Srinagar

Kolkata – Port Blair

Delhi – Leh

Delhi – Srinagar

Vistara

Kolkata – Port Blair

Delhi – Hyderabad

Delhi – Leh

Delhi – Patna

Delhi – Srinagar

AirAsia India

Bengaluru – Mumbai

Delhi – Srinagar

Q1 comes to and end

The Q1 of CY2022 closed with a market share of 53.9% for IndiGo. This was followed by SpiceJet at 10.2%. In terms of passengers, the two listed airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet carried 133.68 lakh and 25.21 lakh passengers respectively. This is 20% lower than the previous quarter for IndiGo, and about 9% higher than the previous quarter for SpiceJet. 

For the month of March, LCCs carried 82.3% of all traffic while for Q1-CY22, the number stood at 81.3%. 

Tail Note

March saw the season transition from Winter to Summer. While the approved schedule saw more flights than before, the actual operations have been subdued since then until the long weekend of April. The real holiday travel to look forward to would be May, provided the rising cases of COVID do not play the spoilsport. 

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2 thoughts on “March 2022: Battle for second place in Indian skies continues

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