IndiGo, India’s largest airline, remained fourth in on-time performance (OTP) at four metro airports in October, while Tata Group’s Air India, Vistara, and AirAsia clinched the top three spots.
According to data provided by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) tracking four airports: Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, SpiceJet and Go First were the least punctual airlines during the month.
While Air India had an OTP of 90.8%, Vistara had an OTP of 89.1%, and Go First had a score of 60.7% for the second month in a row. Due to engine shortages, Go First has grounded one-fifth of its inventory.
IndiGo’s OTP problems were exacerbated by the grounding of at least 30 planes due to supply chain issues. Despite the fact that IndiGo’s passenger traffic was at a five-month high, the airline’s market share fell to a multi-month low.
IndiGo’s market share was 56.7% in October, a five-month low, despite the airline transporting 6.47 million passengers. IndiGo, Vistara, and Go First lost market share to AirAsia and new carriers Akasa Air, Fly Big, and Star Air.
IndiGo’s passenger load factor (PLF) of 82.1% in October was the highest since February, while Vistara’s was the highest since March. During the same month, Air India’s PLF was 82.7%. In October, Akasa Air’s PLF was 77.5%.
Domestic air passenger traffic reached a five-month high in October, thanks to strong demand during the holiday season and long holiday weekends.
According to the DGCA, Indian airline companies carried 11.4 million passengers in October, a 27% increase over the same month last year. In May, the figure had previously reached 11.46 million.
“The airlines’ capacity deployment in October 2022 was around 16% higher than in October 2021,” said Suprio Banerjee, vice president & sector head – of corporate ratings, Icra. However, it was approximately 11% lower than pre-Covid levels.”
A quick recovery in domestic passenger traffic is expected in FY23, aided by normalcy in operations and the waning pandemic. However, the earnings recovery for domestic airlines will be slow-paced due to elevated aviation turbine fuel prices, in addition to the rupee depreciation against the US dollar amid a heightened competitive environment, Icra said.