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Airlines register 22.5% rise in number of passengers

Airlines register 22.5% rise in number of passengers

New Delhi: Airlines have started 2010 with a 22.5% rise in the number of passengers carried and expect the pace to continue for the rest of the year as economic growth revives.

India’s eight domestic carriers carried 4.08 million passengers in January, compared with 3.33 million a year earlier, data from the aviation regulator, directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), show.

The airlines were able to sell tickets without massive promotions or discounts that usually kickoff in the second fortnight of January as peak winter traffic ends.

“The robust growth figures have been registered despite disruption in flight schedules over north India due to inclement weather and the fog in Delhi," Nikos Kardassis, chief executive of Jet Airways said in a statement.

The two airlines had the highest flight cancellation rate in January. Jet cancelled 9.2% of its domestic flights and JetLite, 12.6%—the highest.

Passenger share for Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, India’s second biggest private airline, fell to 22.2% in January from 27.9% a year ago as it deployed fewer flights. Paramount Airways Pvt. Ltd’s share fell to 1.8% from 2.1%.

Other airlines fared better. State-run Air India‘s passenger share jumped to 18% from 16.7%; IndiGo’s rose to 15.3% from 13.7%; SpiceJet Ltd’s to 12.2% from 11.8%; GoAir’s to 5.4 from 2.4%. IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir are low-fare airlines.

Most carriers had at least 70% flight occupancy in January without any special offers or discounts. Last January, SpiceJet had announced a two-day promotion that offered flight bookings for two people at the price of one.

“You need an equilibrium in the market," Anurag Jain, head, revenue optimization, SpiceJet, said in a presentation at Singapore’s Low Cost Airlines World Conference late January.

“Once that is achieved, tweak the pricing within the seeming perimeters of steady state," he added.


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