Carrying 1.226 million passengers in July 2012, Gurgaon based IndiGo pipped the Jet Airways' group (Jet Airways and JetKonnect) at 1.207 million, to become the largest domestic carrier in India. IndiGo's market share has grown to 27.02%, at the expense of a failing Kingfisher Airlines whose market share has declined to a mere 3.44%.
The country's aviation regulator reports based on passenger traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines. Total passengers for July 2012 was 4.537 million, down almost 10% from the 5.108 million of June. The ending of the summer holidays, as well as dampening due to rising airfares are the primary factors.
Year to date from January to July 2012 the total domestic passengers are 35.452 million up a meagre 1.74% from 34.847 million for the same period in 2011.
Growth rates have been steadily declining in both seat capacity, measured in available seat-kilometres (ASK) and, passenger demand, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPK). From a high of almost 20% a year ago, demand is in negative figures and capacity is flat for the last three months.
IndiGo's secret sauce of high punctuality, coupled with a 'no-fuss no-frills' service has continued to hold it in good stead. From the past few months, the DGCA has been collecting and presenting 'On-Time Performance' (OTP) reports, based on data from the six largest airports in India. IndiGo leads the airlines across the country with 90+ OTP performance.
Mumbai airport enjoys the best OTP across all airlines with OTP scores of 90 or higher. Is it a function of larger block times, which give cushion to airlines, or a positive response by airlines, airport operations, and ATC to the DGCA diktat issued in 2009 to streamline operations? May be it is a combination of both. But ultimately, all long as results are being delivered, the passengers couldn't care less.
Time for Delhi airport to pull up its socks, and for Bangalore to work closely with SpiceJet and Air India to get in to the '90+ club'.