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SpiceJet displaces Air India to become third-largest carrier

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 - 7:10am IST | Agency: dna

Firm's share increased to 19% in June, while Air India's share closed at 18.5%; IndiGo maintained its lead with 31.6% market share

Budget carrier SpiceJet's aggressive move to expand its share in June on the back of persistent offering of discounts on fares, helped the airline company race ahead of the national carrier Air India to snatch the third spot.

As per the data by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), SpiceJet's market share increased by 1.1% (month-on-month) to 19% in June from 17.9% in May, ahead of Air India, which closed at 18.5%. IndiGo maintained its lead with 31.6% market share during the month.

Jet Airways together with Jet Lite saw a major month-on-month drop in the market share to 19.6% in June from 21% in May.

While market shares of IndiGo and Air India shrunk marginally, GoAir was the only other airline, apart from SpiceJet to witness gain in market share to 10.1% in June compared with 9.8% in May. For the first time, since its inception, the airline touched a share of 10%.

As far as the load factor is concerned, GoAir reported the best load factor during the month at 81.5% followed by SpiceJet which recorded a load factor at 81.4% in June. Load factor of IndiGo on the other hand, dropped to 79.1% from 82% in May.

With competition increasing, the airlines are forced to offer regular discounts. SpiceJet has been at the forefront in offering discounted fares this year. According to estimates, the airline must have offered around 15-16 such flash sales during the year.

Jet Airways, in which Abu-Dhabi based Etihad Airways owns 24%, announced their joint plans last week for the Indian operations. As part of their strategic alliance, the airline announced introductory special fare offer last week at flat 20% to 50% discount over regular fares on the combined network of the two airlines across over 135 destinations worldwide. Jet Airways on Monday said that it has extended the introductory special fare offer by two more days and will be valid till July, 29, 2014.

The joint special fare has a travel validity effective September 1, 2014 till June 15, 2015, for flights within India and from September 1 till November 30, 2014 for flights to international destinations.

Newest entrant, AirAsia India recorded a market share of 0.2% with a load factor of 80%, while Air Costa's market share shrunk to 0.9% from 1% in May. AirAsia India is currently in the process of expanding its network. The airline will soon connect to Chandigarh and Jaipur from September.

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