The gap between IA and private airlines widened last year, with IA registering 41.3 per cent market share while private airlines together garnering 55.4 per cent.
According to a January-November 2002 traffic data, IA along with its subsidiary Alliance Air has clocked a market share of 41.3 per cent, while Jet Airways has 47.3 per cent and Air Sahara 8.1 per cent. The public sector airline had a market share of 47.3 per cent in 2001 compared to Jets 44.7 per cent.
The market share of IA has been falling steadily because of a truncated fleet, official sources said.
We hope that this data (slippage in IAs market share) will have the effect of a wake-up call on top officials, and they would take up the proposal of fleet acquisition as top priority, official sources added.
The last acquisition was done during 1989-1991 when 31 aircraft were acquired. The airlines fleet acquisition has been pending over the last few years because of plans of divesting a part of the governments stake in the airlines. The IA board had approved an over Rs 10,000-crore acquisition for 43 aircraft in March last year.
Over the last five years, IA market share has been slipping. In 1998, it had a market share of 59.7 per cent, while Jet and Sahara had 32.5 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively. In 1999, IAs market share reduced to 54.2 per cent, while Jets increased to 38.6 per cent, while Sahara was at 3.8 per cent. Indian Airlines market share had improved nominally during 2001 to 47.4 per cent from 47.2 per cent in 2000.