Domestic air passenger traffic rose by 28.03 per cent in March this year as compared to the same period last year, with domestic carriers flying 1.15 crore passengers, according to official data. Passengers carried by the domestic airlines between January and March this year also saw a growth of 23.87 per cent as compared to the same period last year, data released today by aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation said. SpiceJet posted the highest passenger load-factor at 95 per cent, followed by the IndiGo at 89 per cent and Vistara at 88.2 per cent. Passenger load-factor measures how efficiently an airlines fills its seats. Market leader IndiGo pipped SpiceJet on ‘on-time performance’ at 84.1 per cent. SpiceJet was at 83.9 per cent and the Vistara closely following at 83 per cent.
The on-time performance of disinvestment-bound Air India improved from 68.8 per cent in February to 76.5 per cent. The performance was computed based on data from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. As far as market share was concerned, the IndiGo continued to dominate Indian skies in March with a 39.5 pr cent share. Jet Airways occupied the second place with 15 per cent share and Air India at 13.4 per cent.
IndiGo carried 45.76 lakh passengers in the month while Jet Airways carried 17.43 lakh passengers. The load factor, however, saw a decline in March compared to the previous month due to the end of the vacation period, the DGCA said. The overall cancellation of the airlines stood at 1.38 per cent, higher than 0.89 per cent in February. While 80.25 per cent of the Air Deccan flights remained cancelled in March, Vistara on the other hand reported zero cancellations. More than 60.5 per cent of the cancellations were due to technical reasons, DGCA said.
During this period, about 657 passenger-related complaints were received. They ranged from flight problem to baggage and customer services. On the other hand, SpiceJet remained upbeat over its performance, stating that the load factor of 95 per cent comes in the traditionally lean period of March. “For three years in a row, SpiceJet has flown with the highest load factor in the Indian aviation market and for the 35 months in a row, our load factor has been in the excess of 90 per cent,” said Shilpa Bhatia, chief sales and revenue officer of SpiceJet.