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IndiGo's capacity expansion third highest among all airlines in 2012, says CAPA

Jet Airways slips seven places to 46th rank

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The annual aviation report 2012 prepared by Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation () lists as one of the fastest growing . Jet Airways has slipped seven places to 46th rank.

The report determines the top 50 airlines based on deployed capacity and  was released on Monday.

Jet Airways has been reducing capacity on both domestic and international sectors. It pulled out of two long haul sectors—Johannesburg and New York to cut losses. The airline has not launched new international routes in the last few months and is yet to take a call on starting flights to Munich. Its plans to start flights to Manila too did not take wings.

On the domestic side too Jet has lowered capacity on unprofitable sectors and as per its approved winter schedule  number of flights is down from 2,905 to 2,505 per week. Jet's (standalone) market share too is under pressure with Air India and SpiceJet carrying more passengers on domestic routes last November.

Last December Jet Airways stood at 39th place amongst 50 biggest airlines. Air India is down one place to 35th place in the list which is dominated by US and European Airlines. Air India has stopped loss making Toronto flight but has restored most of the other flights which were disrupted due to pilots strike last year.

According to the CAPA report Jet's capacity last month was 11% lower in comparison to December 2011 while Air India's capacity declined 3.5% over the same period. On the other hand, IndiGo's capacity increased 34.6% and it moved to 11th rank up by three places in the list of 25 biggest low-cost airlines.

A senior Jet executive said, "We are making the right choices and are not concerned about the ranking."

In fact, IndiGo and Indonesia's Lion Air's capacity growth is the second highest among all LCCs only second to Spanish airline  Vueling which added 40 percent capacity last year. Following its merger with Continental Airlines United Airlines's capacity rose 67.3% the highest among all airlines.

IndiGo has been rapidly expanding adding new routes. Over the last few months it has added 70 flights on domestic and international routes and is the largest domestic airline by market share.

In the winter schedule it has received approval for 2,447 weekly flights as against 1,879 flights in the previous year. However the airline's deployed capacity is not large enough to make it amongst the top 50 biggest airlines (which includes LCCs such as Southwest, RyanAir, JetBlue and  LionAir).

"United Airlines, following its merger with Continental, has ended 2012 as the world's biggest airline measured by available seat kilometres (capacity)  for the current week, ahead of second placed Delta, whose capacity fell 0.3% year-on-year. Emirates is the world's third biggest airline by this measure, and could be in second place by the end of 2013 if the past year's growth rates are maintained," CAPA said in its report. Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France take the  6-8 positions in the list.

"The biggest movers in the overall top 50 list include Turkish Airlines, which jumped seven places to rank 15th globally," the report added.

Emirates added 18% capacity last year. Emirates took delivery of three wide body planes (two airbus A380 and one Boeing 777) on a single day (October 1)  and in another first  took deliveries of five planes (three A380s and two 777s) in December, the airline said in a press release issued on Monday.

Rival airline Etihad also announced carrying 10 million passengers which is 22% more than 2011. Launch of flights to six new destinations led to 22% increase in passenger numbers, the airline has said. Etihad is number 28 in list of biggest airlines measured by capacity.

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