The demand for air travel continues to be high with airlines reporting higher growth in passenger traffic in April. According to DGCA data released on Thursday, domestic air passenger traffic increased by 26% during the month this year, compared with the same month last year, with domestic carriers carrying 11.51 million passengers.
Carriers have been adding new routes in their network, thereby creating more capacity with demand remaining high which can be seen in increasing passenger load factor reported by them. In April, the increase in PLF of individual carriers ranged between 2% and 13% compared with the same period last year. AirAsia was the only carrier which reported a decline in PLF.
Demand is also high because carriers have so far not raised fares even though the fuel cost has risen. Some industry observers have indicated that spot fares may rise in May suggesting that traffic growth may get somewhat subdued then.
The top five airlines — IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air India, SpiceJet, and GoAir — flew with load factors between 84% and 95.5% during April. Low-cost airline SpiceJet continued to remain in pole position among all key scheduled carriers on the PLF front at 95.5%. IndiGo, the market leader in terms of number of passengers carried, recorded a load factor of 91.9%, followed by GoAir (89.5%), Vistara (88.8%), AirAsia (87.5) and Jet (85%). National carrier Air India registered an 84% PLF during the month.
“SpiceJet has yet again recorded the highest PLF in the industry. For three years in a row SpiceJet has flown with loads in excess of 90%. We are extremely proud of our entire team for outperforming the industry month after month,” Shilpa Bhatia, chief sales and revenue officer, SpiceJet, said in a statement.
The market share of scheduled carriers remained similar, with IndiGo leading with 39.8%. It carried 4.58 million passengers in April. Jet flew 1.86 million, having a 16.2% market share, while Air India had a market share of 12.9% with 1.53 million travellers. SpiceJet was fourth with 1.42 million passengers and 12.4% market share ahead of the Wadia Group-owned GoAir, which saw 1.01 million customer bookings with 8.8% market share.
AirAsia served 0.57 million domestic passengers, settling at 5% market share, while Vistara bagged 4% of market share with 0.46 million passengers during last month.