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October domestic airline traffic down 15%

Sector witnesses steepest fall this year Companies gain market share at Kingfisher's expense

Disha Kanwar & Aneesh Phadnis  |  New Delhi/Mumbai 

Domestic passenger traffic saw a steep fall of 15.7% in October 2012 even as Air India continued to strengthen its market share to 20.8%. Just as suspended carrier, Kingfisher Airline exited the market in October, domestic airlines gained market share at its expense.

The traffic fell from 54.01 lakh in last October to 45.55 lakh in 2012. October, despite being festive season and the start of a strong quarter, the traffic witnessed sharpest ever fall in this year. Aviation experts blame the fall in traffic on increase in fares by around 20-30% as compared to last year. In first ten months, January-October the passenger traffic fell by 2.5%.

IndiGo continued to lead with 27.8% share the month also saw Jet Airways-Jet Konnect share rising to 24.7% (from 23.8% in September).Spicejet also notched up to 19.1% up from 18.5% in September. GoAir reported market share of 7.6%.

The passenger load factors of airlines rose in October as compared to September. Indigo had the highest load factor of 77.2% followed by Air India with 74.7%. Spicejet and Go Air had the loads of around 70%. Though JetLite had passenger load factor of around 70% yet Jet airways was the lowest with 67.5%.

Air India was the biggest beneficiary of Kingfisher’s fall as it increased its share by 1.5%age point and development comes following civil aviation minister Ajit Singh's directive to the national carrier to improve its performance. Singh had asked Air India to submit a detailed plan and to include month-wise targets of market share along with strategy to achieve these targets for the next one year. Singh had emphasized that Air India needs to take more efforts have to regain its number one position in terms of market share and asked Air India to come out with innovative and customer focused strategies to achieve optimum utilization of all planes. The airline has stepped up its advertising and marketing efforts to woo business travelers and also introduced special discount fares to increase loads.

First Published: Tue, November 20 2012. 16:12 IST