Jet continues its dominance in domestic market

Ashwini Phadnis

New DelhiMay 14The low-cost airlines carried almost a third of all domestic air passengers during 2006.

The latest data collated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation shows that the four low-cost airlines together carried 94.08 lakh passengers during the year of the total 3.21 crore passengers. Among the low-cost airlines, Air Deccan carried 58.75 lakh or more than 61 per cent of the total passengers that flew with them during the year.

The other three are SpiceJet, Go Air and IndiGo.

Jet Airways, however, continued its dominance in the Indian market carrying more than a crore passengers. The airline that started operations in 1993 enjoyed a market share of 31.2 per cent in 2006.

In comparison, the entry of low-cost airlines has been a more recent phenomenon with Air Deccan starting operations in 2003 and IndiGo in 2005.

Market share

The state-owned Indian that carried more than 69 lakh passengers had a market share of 21.5 per cent, down from 31 per cent in the previous year.

Air Sahara, which carried 28.16 lakh passengers, enjoyed a market share of 8.8 per cent while Kingfisher Airlines that carried 27.93 lakh passengers enjoyed a market share of 8.7 per cent.

The data shows that the average number of domestic passengers travelling by air grew by 28.2 per cent to touch 69,055 during 2005-06 up from 53,274 during the previous year.

Losses continue

Despite growth in the sector, the airlines continued to report losses.

The data shows that they together reported a net loss of more than Rs 301.7 crore, with the private scheduled domestic airlines showing a loss of 323.7 crore while the national carriers showed a profit of Rs 21.9 crore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 15, 2007)
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