India air traffic in Jan-May up 17.6%

India air traffic in Jan-May up 17.6%

Mumbai: Number of passengers carried by domestic carriers in Jan-May rose 17.6% to 24.5 million, with Jet Airways continuing to hold the largest market share, government data showed.

Jet, Kingfisher Airlines and IndiGo carried more than 1 million passengers each in May. Domestic traffic for the month rose to 5.4 million from 4.7 million in April.

Earlier this month, Jet said it flew 2 million passengers in May.

Jet Airways and its budget arm JetLite recorded market share of 26.1% for May, while Kingfisher came in second with 20%.

Budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet had market share of 19.9% and 14.2%, respectively.

IndiGo on Wednesday firmed up a record order for 180 single-aisle Airbus aircraft valued at $16.2 billion at list prices.

State-run Air India, which is in the midst of a massive debt and operational restructuring, slipped one notch to fifth place with a share of 13.2%, hit by a pilots strike in early May. Budget carrier GoAir finished sixth with 6.6%.

Load factors, or the average occupancy per airline, of all six firms rose from a month earlier, as demand increased during the peak vacation season.

Jet’s load factors rose to 79.8% in May from 66% in April and budget arm JetLite’s increased to 84.3% from 72.1%.

Kingfisher’s load factor rose to 88.4% from 79.8%.

Air India’s loads increased to 78.1% in May from 68.1%, while SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir had seat factors in the eighties.

Air traffic has been steadily rising in India, as demand booms in an economy growing at over 8%.