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Indian airlines become competitive in June

June was a busy month for Indian airlines, with just over 10.5 million passengers taking flight. This caused airlines to become increasingly competitive for passengers, with SpiceJet, Go First and Vistara all finishing within 0.1% of each other for second place. However, real challenges await the industry in the coming weeks, even for the most established players.

Peering Order Changes

For years, India’s traffic data has looked familiar, with IndiGo topping the charts and SpiceJet trailing far behind. However, the last 12 months have changed that significantly, and now the battle for second place has become fierce. In June 2022, SpiceJet overtook Go First (formerly GoAir) to take second place for the first time in months. Both tied for a 9.5% market share, the first carrying a few thousand additional passengers.

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The star of the list was Vistara, which carried 9.4% of the month’s traffic and less than 10,000 passengers far from jumping into second place. The full-service airline has seen high load factors in recent months and has been steadily adding passengers as competitors struggle financially and with lower capacity following the pandemic.

IndiGo tops the list with a dominating 59.83% share of all travelers in June. However, July is expected to be a much tougher month for the carrier as it grapples with employee disputes over compensation, which hurts its on-time performance and cancellations.

Air India continued to fall as it struggles to keep up with rivals, its market share falling to just 7.5%, down from double-digits at the start of the year. The full-service airline is currently working on a turnaround plan following its acquisition by the Tata Group.

The summer of misfortunes

June tends to be one of the busiest months for travel thanks to summer school holidays. While traffic is still down from 2019, airlines are seeing strong demand from leisure travelers looking to get away from it all. But there have been a few notable incidents in recent weeks that could dampen the momentum.

SpiceJet recently received a notice from the DGCA after 10 shocking incidents in 12 weeks, which included hijackings and smoke in the cabin of its planes. This forced the carrier to ground some aircraft at the last minute and undertake a major safety review. Given that, he may well be left out of the top three next month.

As new jobs flood the market, airline workers are demanding that all pandemic-era cuts be reversed and wages rise. Photo: Airbus

Usually the firm hand of Indian aviation, IndiGo has also been hit with a series of problems this month. This is mainly related to wage disputes between the carrier’s employees, which leaves it with delays and cancellations of services, a rarity in the world’s eighth largest carrier. With wage increases across the board, the low-cost giant hopes it will be able to keep these incidents on a one-off basis.

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Akasa Air coming soon

The traffic data comes just after Akasa Air started selling air tickets, with August 7 as the launch date. The new low-cost airline, operating 737 MAXs, offers flights from Ahmedabad to Mumbai, a busy trade route with strong competitors. The addition of Akasa will only further tighten the competition at the top and all eyes will be on his progress over the next 12 months.