IndiGo and Jet lead performance and market share but also in passenger complaints

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation reported domestic performance metrics of the seven Indian carriers for February 2011. Overall traffic was up 18.46% to 4.576 million passengers from 3.863 million passengers a year earlier. Cumulative traffic for 2011 is up 19.62% to 9.511 million from 7.951 in 2010.

The Jet Airways group, comprising of Jet Airways, Jet Airways Konnect and Jet Lite, led the industry with a market share of 21.6%. IndiGo led the low cost segment with an 18.7% share.

Compared to a year ago, the value carriers GoAir, IndiGo, and SpiceJet have captured significant market share from national carrier Air India and Dr. Vijay Mallya promoted Kingfisher Airlines, both of whom have been facing financial problems and have not expanded their fleet with the resurging market.

In a recent survey, many passengers place a high priority on on-time performance (OTP), and most airlines have been working hard to address this. Certain guidelines imposed by the regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, have resulted in a streamlining of operations at Mumbai and this is reflected by the industry leading performance of Jet Airways. Kingfisher, which was facing a steady erosion of customers due to a poor OTP, appears to have pulled up its socks to rank second, ahead of traditional punctuality leader IndiGo.

On flight cancellations, IndiGo was the best in the industry at 0.1% and Jet Airways at 0.6% was below the industry median 0.8%. Kingfisher (0.9%), Air India (1.3%) and JetLite (1.4) were the three most unreliable airlines.

Passenger seat factors dipped as the traditional winter travel concluded in January. IndiGo continued to be industry leader filling 87.6% of its capacity, while Air India was the laggard at a pathetic 68%.

In complete contradiction to their industry leading performance, Jet Airways and IndiGo also topped the month on the negative; with the most passenger complaints. Jet received 4.1 complaints per 10,000 passengers and IndiGo was close behind at 3.1, both well ahead of the industry median 2.5.

Contradicting its stereotypical poor image, Air India has the best record in the industry with 1.1 complaints per 10,000 passengers and Kingfisher posted a second best at 1.7 complaints per 10,000 passengers.

What reasons would you attribute to this contradictory performance by both Jet and IndiGo? Conversely why are passengers not complaining about Air India? Post a comment.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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