STATISTICS SPECIAL: Aviation in India – A Market Snapshot

What a journey the Indian aviation market has been on in recent years.  With the momentum of a rollercoaster racing along the tracks, the industry has blossomed as a new raft of air carriers have brought competition to local skies and ended many monopolies in international markets.  There have been winners and losers along the way, the most recent being the high profile collapse of Kingfisher Airlines, but what is for sure is that with a home market of over one billion people, and the airline business only really still in its infancy in a country where rail travel still dominates, there is enormous potential for future growth.

The first tranche of low-cost airlines have now become experienced operators and a new batch are set to emerge to bring additional competition and the private sector is set to further underpin the growth of the country’s aviation sector following the Government’s decision last year to open the door to foreign invest in the country’s airlines.  An earlier privatisation of the airports in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi has led to a sustained period of modernisation and expansion of these key gateways under the auspices of Indian multinational corporations GVK and GMR and similar is now expected in the airline business to allow the country’s carriers to better compete in the global market.

In terms of numbers, first, let’s look in greater detail at India’s domestic market.  After a period of relative steady growth there was a notable increase in capacity in 2006 and 2007 with available seats up 37.4 per cent and 36.2 per cent.  Although there has been mixed fortunes over subsequent years overall seat capacity almost tripled during the 2000s from around 25 million seats to nearly 75 million.  For the last two years (201q – 2012) there have been more than 80 million available seats in domestic skies as the local population has become more mobile. 

SCHEDULED DOMESTIC AIR SERVICES IN INDIA (non-stop departures)

Rank

Airline

Departures (2012)

Available Seats (2012)

Marketshare (2012)

Marketshare (2011)

Marketshare (2010)

1

IndiGo (6E)

117,420

21,135,600

24.7 %

19.2 %

16.1 %

2

Jet Airways (9W)

140,308

17,699,704

20.7 %

7.2 %

7.1 %

3

Air India (AI)

117,776

16,272,259

19.0 %

15.5 %

2.9 %

4

SpiceJet (SG)

100,041

14,924,893

17.5 %

15.4 %

13.2 %

5

Go Air (G8)

32,848

5,781,248

6.8 %

5.8 %

3.7 %

6

Jet Konnect (9W)

27,159

3,095,060

3.6 %

11.6 %

12.4 %

7

Kingfisher Airlines (IT)

17,623

2,689,727

3.1 %

6.3 %

5.0 %

8

Jet Lite (S2)

10,362

1,533,467

1.8 %

7.3 %

7.3 %

9

Kingfisher Red (IT)

19,499

1,231,472

1.4 %

8.2 %

11.3 %

10

Star Aviation (SVP)

7,320

541,680

0.6 %

0.6 %

0.5 %

NETWORK TOTAL

85,499,075

84,964,485

72,366,274


IndiGo has significantly increased its presence in domestic Indian skies over the past three years with its market share rising from 16.1 per cent in 2010 to 24.7 per cent last year.  A restructuring of flying at Air India and Jet Airways has also seen their shares of the market grow, while Go Air and SpiceJet have also grown, mainly at the expense of Kingfisher Airlines which alongside its Kingfisher Red operation saw its share slip from 16.3 per cent in 2010 to 4.5 per cent last year, ahead of its collapse. 

In terms of airport operations, New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International, dominates with a 19.4 per cent share of domestic flight capacity in 2012, followed by Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International (17.0 per cent), Bengaluru International (7.4 per cent), Chennai International (7.2 per cent) and Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (7.2 per cent).

According to estimated data the number of O&D passengers travelling domestically in India in 2012 was 54.28 million, down 2.6 per cent on the previous year but up a massive 47.4 per cent on the figure recorded in 2007.  The majority of traffic is on the trunk routes linking the major cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai, the main aviation hubs in the country.  IndiGo has an estimated 25.9 per cent share of this point-to-point domestic traffic, followed by Jet Airways with 19.5 per cent, SpiceJet with 19.0 per cent and then national carrier Air India with a 15.7 per cent share.

The international market from India has witnessed continuous growth since 2003 with seat capacity up 168.7 per cent between 2003 and 2012.  In 2011 available capacity exceeded 25 million seats for the first time, a level that was also achieved the subsequent year as a small 0.9 per cent growth in capacity continued the rise of the industry. 

SCHEDULED INTERNATIONAL AIR SERVICES FROM INDIA (non-stop departures)

Rank

Airline

Departures (2012)

Available Seats (2012)

Marketshare (2012)

Marketshare (2011)

Marketshare (2010)

1

Jet Airways (9W)

18,002

3,252,563

12.8 %

12.4 %

11.5 %

2

Air India (AI)

15,485

3,101,749

12.2 %

11.4 %

9.6 %

3

Emirates Airline (EK)

9,699

2,628,832

10.3 %

10.2 %

10.6 %

4

Air India Express (IX)

8,581

1,544,580

6.1 %

5.2 %

7.2 %

5

Qatar Airways (QR)

4,968

1,021,247

4.0 %

3.9 %

3.2 %

6

Air Arabia (G9)

5,448

882,576

3.5 %

3.5 %

3.6 %

7

Singapore Airlines (SQ)

2,742

850,386

3.3 %

3.1 %

3.1 %

8

Thai Airways International (TG)

2,706

813,465

3.2 %

3.2 %

3.1 %

9

SriLankan Airlines (UL)

4,307

671,647

2.6 %

2.0 %

1.9 %

10

Lufthansa (LH)

2,176

646,692

2.5 %

2.8 %

2.8 %

NETWORK TOTAL

25,493,330

25,270,803

24,009,792


Jet Airways dominates this market with over 3.2 million seats available in 2012 from India giving it a 12.8 per cent share of the country’s international capacity.  The data shows strong growth has been recorded by Air India as it continues to restructure its operations and SriLankan Airlines, the latter increasing its exposure into India ahead of its entry into the oneworld alliance, giving the grouping an enhanced foothold in the country. 

According to estimated data the number of O&D passengers travelling internationally from and to India in 2012 was 39.2 million, up 0.2 per cent on the previous year and 41.3 per cent on the figure recorded in 2007.  Emirates Airline has an estimated12.4 per cent share of this international traffic, followed by Air India (11.6 per cent), Jet Airways (11.6 per cent), Air India Express (4.3 per cent) and Qatar Airways (4.0 per cent).

ESTIMATED O&D DEMAND FROM AND TO INDIA (bi-directional international O&D passengers)

2012

2007

Rank

Destination

Estimated O&D Demand

% Traffic Share

Rank

Destination

Estimated O&D Demand

% Traffic Share

1

United Arab Emirates

6,500,829

16.6 %

1

United Arab Emirates

4,876,473

17.6 %

2

United States

3,880,801

9.9 %

2

United Kingdom

2,708,897

9.8 %

3

Saudi Arabia

3,580,223

9.1 %

3

United States

2,383,990

8.6 %

4

United Kingdom

2,386,979

6.1 %

4

Saudi Arabia

2,015,987

7.3 %

5

Singapore

2,210,041

5.6 %

5

Singapore

1,696,771

6.1 %

6

Thailand

1,979,091

5.0 %

6

Thailand

1,108,258

4.0 %

7

Oman

1,494,786

3.8 %

7

Oman

899,517

3.2 %

8

Malaysia

1,210,419

3.1 %

8

Kuwait

841,812

3.0 %

9

Sri Lanka

1,144,004

2.9 %

9

Malaysia

811,375

2.9 %

10

Kuwait

1,071,337

2.7 %

10

Sri Lanka

765,818

2.8 %


Although the top ten O&D international markets from and to India have not changed since 2007, there have been some notable changes in traffic share.  With the exception of the United Kingdom, all of the markets have witnessed a growth in O&D demand, but it is clear that some markets such as Kuwait and Singapore are not seeing capacity and traffic growing as fast as the others.  The most notable change has been between India and Saudi Arabia as growing capacity has helped boost the estimated O&D demand and moved the country market from fourth to third in the ranking during the five year period, increasing its share by 1.6 percentage points.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is by far the largest market for passengers to and from India and despite its share of the market declining since 2007 it remains in growth.  The continual construction work in the UAE means an increasing number of Indian workers are travelling between the two countries, a number that is only going to continue to grow as additional direct routes are introduced into the Gulf nation from secondary Indian cities.

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