IndiGo's market share stood at 47.9% during the month, while SpiceJet's market share inched up to 16.6%, compared with 14.9% during 2019.
The domestic air traffic continues to grow at a snail’s pace, with passengers transported in January growing 2.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 127.83 lakh. Domestic airlines appear to be saddled with excess capacity, with the passenger load factor of most airlines being lower in January compared with December 2019.
In a slowing growth scenario, domestic traffic had increased marginally by 3.74% y-o-y during January-December 2019. Last year, growth had remained muted even during the holiday season, which typically sees a pick-up.
India’s largest airline by market share, IndiGo, saw load factor reducing by 280 basis points (bps) month-on-month (m-o-m) to 87.8% in January. Closest competitor, SpiceJet recorded a 120 bps drop to 91.5%. State-owned Air India also saw a 280-bps dip to 78%. GoAir’s load factor stood at 88.7% in January, against 89.7% in December 2019. Vistara beat the trend, with its load factor growing 240 bps to 83.5% in January.
Total passengers carried by private domestic carriers stood at 113.05 lakh in January. IndiGo’s market share stood at 47.9% during the month, while SpiceJet’s market share inched up to 16.6%, compared with 14.9% during 2019.
After Jet Airways was grounded, domestic air traffic growth fell to single-digits for the first time in over four years last May. Airlines, which were scrambling to fill the gap, were met with additional headwinds. The industry’s second-largest player, SpiceJet, was hit by the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 MAXs following two fatal crashes. Indigo and GoAir have also faced slowdown in capacity addition due to engine troubles associated with the Airbus A320neo aircraft and a subsequent regulatory clampdown. Civil aviation ministry officials had earlier said while the sector faced headwinds on account of the closure of Jet Airways in April 2019, double digit growth “should be back sooner rather than later.” However, more recently, the fear of COVID-19, or coronavirus, has impacted air travel as well.