India’s Largest Airline Just Got Bigger
Low-cost carrier IndiGo’s market share rose to its highest ever in September on capacity addition.
Market share of the country’s largest airline, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., rose to 43.2 percent last month from 41.9 percent in August, according to data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. That compares with listed peers SpiceJet Ltd. and Jet Airways (India) Ltd.’s share of 12 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively, during the month.
Festive season demand, higher capacity addition and lower fares boosted the airline passenger traffic in India, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market.
The number of passengers rose 19 percent on a yearly basis to nearly 1.14 crore in September, the DGCA data showed. The growth in the aviation market was primarily led by IndiGo. The budget carrier’s passenger growth stood at 34 percent—the highest in 20 months. Passenger growth for IndiGo’s peers, however, remained lower for at least five straight quarters.
- Air India’s passenger traffic growth was 4 percent—the lowest in 14 months.
- SpiceJet’s passenger growth of 3.3 percent was the lowest in 35 months.
- Jet Airways’ passenger growth increased to 9 percent in September.
Yet, IndiGo and SpiceJet, among other airlines, failed to utilise capacity to the fullest. A measure of capacity utilisation, passenger load factor for IndiGo declined 250 basis points over the last year to 82.7 percent in September. SpiceJet’s passenger load factor fell for the fourth straight month to 93.2 percent. But the airline managed to report capacity utilisation at more than 90 percent for 41 months in a row.