Vistara becomes the No.2 carrier by market share in July

Full-service carrier Vistara whizzed past rivals SpiceJet and Go First, both of whom have grounded planes and cut flights, to become India’s No.2 carrier by market share in July. The airline is Tata Sons’ joint venture with Singapore Airlines.

According to data from the aviation regulator, Vistara, which had a 7.5% market in January and around 9% in the subsequent months, climbed to 10.4% in July. Go First carried 8.2% of the domestic passengers last month, while SpiceJet flew 8%.

ALSO READ – AirAsia India and Vistara record elevated losses in FY22

VISTARA
Vistara becomes the No.2 carrier by market share in July

This is the first time that Vistara has reached this position since starting services in January 2015 and comes within days of its year-on-year loss widening to INR 2,178 crore. The airline had almost reached its 2019 capacity in 2021 when most airlines, including market leader IndiGo, were 18% short of their pre-Covid capacity.

ALSO READ – Vistara on verge of overtaking SpiceJet in market share of Indian aviation

ALSO READ – DGCA orders SpiceJet to operate only 50% of approved flights

SpiceJet and Go First have been forced to cut capacity, which helped Vistara overtake them in market share. After several technical snags in SpiceJet’s flights, the regulator ordered it to cut 50% of its approved capacity for the summer. GoAir grounded more than a fifth of its fleet, or over a dozen planes, due to engine supply problems.

ALSO READ – Go First grounds over a fifth of its fleet due to delayed deliveries of engines by Pratt & Whitney

India’s airlines carried 9.7 million passengers on domestic routes in July, almost double from a year earlier but lower than the 10.5 million passengers ferried in June 2022.

The market share of the only other local full-service carrier, Air India, climbed to 8.4% from 7.5% in June, although it decreased from 10.2% in January. All low-cost carriers except IndiGo lost market share.

The combined market share for the three Tata Group airlines – Air India, Vistara and AirAsia India – for July was 23.4%. IndiGo’s share was 2.5 times higher at 58.8%.

“Despite the challenges of the third wave of the pandemic, we were able to maintain a domestic market share of 9% throughout the last six months, flying over a million passengers (domestic + international) every month since March 2022.”

Vinod Kannan, CEO, Vistara

Since January, when Vistara sharply cut flights due to a rise in Covid cases, its number of domestic flights increased by 56%, till July, said a person in the know. Its number of aircraft deployed on domestic routes increased to 44 from 37, he said, adding the airline would now add one aircraft every month to its fleet of 53 small and large planes. Air India too has been adding capacity recently.

“Air India is leaving no stone unturned to bring back both its narrow-body and widebody aircraft back into service. For instance, till recently, we had 28 widebody aircraft that were operating but that number has now risen to 33. The entire process to make grounded aircraft serviceable has been expedited and soon most aircraft will be ready to operate.”

Spokespoerson, Air India

“In the last two months, our narrow-bodied fleet in operation has increased to 54 from 45 planes,” said a person in the know of Air India’s operations. It has a narrow-bodied fleet of more than 70 planes. The remaining are grounded.

India’s airlines carried 9.7 million passengers on domestic routes in July, almost double from a year earlier but lower than the 10.5 million passengers ferried in June 2022.

July was the fourth successive month when AirAsia ranked first in terms of on-time performance OTP

AirAsia India again had the best on-time performance (OTP) among domestic airlines, computed for four metro airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad — at 95.5% in July. It was followed by Vistara at 89%, Go First at 84.1%, Air India at 83%, SpiceJet at 82.1% and IndiGo at 80.8%.

July was the fourth successive month when AirAsia ranked first in terms of OTP, having reached 89.8% in June, 90.8% in May and 94.8% in April.

(With Inputs from The Economic Times)

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