Air India Beats SpiceJet To Become 2nd Biggest Airlines! But Air India Still Losing Money

Air India Beats SpiceJet To Become 2nd Biggest Airlines! But Air India Still Losing Money
Air India Beats SpiceJet To Become 2nd Biggest Airlines! But Air India Still Losing Money

The second wave of the pandemic has impacted traffic in May as total capacity and passenger traffic dropped to a pandemic-era low due to the surge of cases in India.

Air India Overtaking Spice Jet

In addition to that, there has been a change in the list of India’s biggest airlines as Air India has officially overtaken SpiceJet.

With this move, it has become India’s second-largest airline, with a market share of over 20%.

May witnessed a shuffling of airline rankings in India according to DGCA traffic data. 

Although IndiGo remains to be the biggest airline in India and grew its market share slightly to 55.3%, there were changes further down the list. 

The notable change is, Air India overtook SpiceJet to become India’s second-largest airline by passengers carried in May.

The change caused SpiceJet’s market share to slip from 12.3% to 9.4%, at the same time Air India’s jumped from 12% to 20.3% between April and May. 

It is also influenced the increase in the flag carrier’s as the market witnessed a shrink in market share of GoAir, AirAsia India, and Vistara.

Dip In Air Travel 

Most importantly, May is a bit of an anomaly since the start of the month saw COVID-19 cases in India reach global highs.

During that time, the cases reached over daily 414,000 and the passenger traffic nosedived, as travelers were understandably scared to get on planes. 

Considering the numbers, only 2.1 million passengers traveled in May 2021, which is much lower than 7.8 million in March ’21.

Shift In Market Share

There has been a gain for Air India as it has shown a big jump in passengers carried.

On the other hand,  passenger load factors (PLFs) tell a different story. 

At 64%, SpiceJet continued to have the highest load factor in May as well. 

At the same time, Air India’s PLF fell to a meager 39.3%, meaning less than 40% of its flights were full on average during the month.

It seems that SpiceJet’s decision to reduce capacity is likely to help preserve cash as it tried to survive this crisis. 

In Air India’s case, they continue to operate capacity and deepened their losses, which are being funded by the government for now.

GoAir registered the second-highest PLF in May at 63.3%, only down from 65.7% in April.

Similarly, IndiGo’s PLF slipped from 58.7% to 51.2% as it continued to fly a large part of its network and carried 1.17 million passengers.

In recent weeks, traffic has increased, still remains far below levels even in seen in early 2021. 

This simply indicates that carriers continue to burn cash at a high rate and fly fewer flights.

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