July22: Vistara ascends to number two spot for the first time

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) declared the traffic statistics for July this afternoon. A total of 97.05 lakh passengers flew in July 2022. This is a drop of 8.07 lakh over the previous month. The drop is in line with seasonality setting in. The lean season starts in the second half of June and goes on until the festivities start in September or October. 

Read: June 2022: Sudden drop in traffic as seasonality sets in

The surprise for the month was Vistara! The airline for the first time occupied the number two spot in market share and also for the first time crossed the 10% market share mark. The airline carried 10.13 lakh passengers which also happens to be the highest ever for the airline. It was one of the only two airlines which saw more passengers in July than the previous month. The other airline to see this growth was Air India, which seems to have added capacity as more and more aircraft are being operationalised. 

With 76,117 domestic departures, airlines had deployed 11.36% fewer flights in July than June. On an average, there were 26,032 fewer passengers per day in July than the previous month.

With both Air India and Vistara gaining market share, the Full Service Carrier’s saw 18.8% of the total market, up 2% over June.

Load Factor and Market Share

SpiceJet continued to lead the load factors charts albeit marginally with Vistara being neck to neck. SpiceJet recorded 84.7% load factors, while Vistara had 84.3%. No other carrier crossed the 80% mark with Star Air (77.8%), IndiGo (77.7%), Go FIRST (76.5%), AirAsia India (75.2%), Alliance Air (71.9%), Air India (71.1%). Flybig recorded the lowest load factors at 46.8%.

IndiGo lost two lakh passengers over the previous month but cemented its market share to 58.8%, which was followed by Vistara at 10.4%. Air India, Go FIRST and SpiceJet followed with 8.4%, 8.2% and 8% respectively. Vistara is the fourth airline this year to occupy the number two spot in terms of market share. 

OTP and popular routes

The famed “OTP” of IndiGo took a beating in July. The month started with what was reported as mass sick leaves by the crew. This was followed by a strike by technicians at various bases. The airline neither confirmed nor denied any of this but with the Ministry of Civil Aviation declaring the load factors and On Time Performance on a daily basis, the beating on the OTP front for IndiGo was clearly visible. It seems the airline did not quite recover from it, ending up just better than Alliance Air and thus the last amongst major carriers.

AirAsia India continued its run at the top with 95.5% of flights at four metros being on-time. This was followed by Vistara (89%), Go FIRST (84.1%), Air India (83%) and SpiceJet (82.1%). IndiGo and Alliance Air followed at 80.8% and 72.1% respectively. 

Delhi – Leh remained the prime route where airlines could sell fares in highest fare classes, in line with the season

Outlook

The HR issues seem to be a thing of the past, the traffic is holding up after the initial fall and the festival season is ahead of us. While COVID cases are rising, the relatively lower hospitalisation has meant that travel continues. A new airline is in the air in August in the form of Akasa Air. The battle lines are drawn on the fare front. More than August, September will be a month to watch out for.

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2 thoughts on “July22: Vistara ascends to number two spot for the first time

  1. The level of detail, statistics, data and graphs make this a standout article compared to other news report on the subject.

    Thrilled to note that Vistara has reached #2. I root for this carrier because its pedigree (Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Tata) means India has a fighting chance for one of its carriers to excel. Hopefully, SIA will increase its funding commitment so Vistara can successfully absorb several 787s and begin to gain market share on Western long haul routes.

    As far as I remember, AirFrance/KLM and other carriers haven’t fully restored their services to India to pre-COVID levels so this also give Vistara a chance to grab passengers from them.

    On a different note, it will be interesting to learn how Vistara leverages its foreign code-share partnerships. For instance, how many of its passengers connect on its code share on British Airways operated flights from London and is it relatively meaningful?

    Like

    1. Thanks for all the kind words. For Vistara to grab pax from the likes of AF/KLM, it will have to rapidly induct widebody aircraft and deploy to CDG/AMS from two points in India to begin with, which unfortunately isnt happening

      The codeshare data is always interesting but never public!

      Like

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