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A view of the ramp at Bangalore Airport.
A view of the ramp at Bangalore Airport. Photo copyright Vedant Agarwal

Infographics: India domestic airlines’ performance for August 2015

We bring you another instalment of infographics showing historic performance over the last 12 months, of India’s domestic air passenger market as of August 2015. Infographics are based on data published by India’s civil aviation regulator, the DGCA.

We encourage you to study all the infographics, and then help us answer “The SpiceJet Conundrum” posed at the end of page.

Overall

  • The market shows the traditional shrinkage at the end of the summer vacation season, and before the upcoming festival season which commences one month later this year.
  • IndiGo continues to lead the market in passenger numbers and market share.
  • Both the Tata promoted airlines, AirAsia India and Vistara are continuing their steady increase in passenger numbers. Vistara is just shy of the one lakh (one hundred thousand) per month number while AirAsia India is clearly benefiting from its Delhi expansion. Air Pegasus is also showing steady growth.
  • Air Costa is showing contraction and uncertainty in light of its on-going financial problems.
India 12 month domestic air passengers carried as of August 2015
India 12 month domestic air passengers carried as of August 2015
India 12 month domestic airline market share as of August 2015
India 12 month domestic airline market share as of August 2015

Most of the airlines were between 70% and 80% full during the month. Vistara was the laggard, while SpiceJet is the clear winner by a handsome margin of over 11%.

India 12 month domestic airline passenger load factors as of August 2015
India 12 month domestic airline passenger load factors as of August 2015

The on-time performance shows a direct invert of the leader-laggard of the passenger load factors above. Here Vistara leads the market and SpiceJet is still struggling.

India 12 month domestic airlines' on time performance as of August 2015
India 12 month domestic airlines’ on time performance as of August 2015

GoAir and SpiceJet appear to be bringing their house back in order and passenger complaints have reduced. Air Pegasus suffered a high number due to its launch, which always has its kinks, and its low passenger base.

India 12 month domestic airline passenger complaints as of August 2015
India 12 month domestic airline passenger complaints as of August 2015

Air Costa seems to be erratic when it comes to overall performance and especially flight cancellations. SpiceJet has brought its torrid past in control. It appears now that SpiceJet is delaying flights but not cancelling them. Something the airline needs to address on an urgent basis.

India 12 month domestic flight cancellation rates as of August 2015
India 12 month domestic flight cancellation rates as of August 2015

The SpiceJet conundrum

SpiceJet has its flights almost totally full. Post the May 2015 holiday rush, the Ajay Singh promoted airline has maintained its 92%+ passenger load factor while its competitors have sunk to 80%. This 11%+ lead is maintained despite passenger complaint numbers on the high side, and an erratic on-time performance. What do you attribute this to? Is this due to:

  1. the passengers faith in the airline?
  2. the airline meeting the passengers’ demand for low fares?
  3. the frequent sales the airline does, fills up those extra 10%~15% of the seats which would otherwise remain unsold as demonstrated on the sub-80% load factors at the other airlines? [Note: something the SpiceJet management has been claiming all along]

Help us answer this conundrum. Share your thoughts via 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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