The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data shows that in August, domestic air traffic in India increased by 2.5 percent compared with July, with airlines carrying 1.21 crore passengers. This marked the sixth consecutive month of surpassing pre-Covid levels, as in July 2019, domestic airlines carried 1.19 crore passengers.

However, Akasa, India’s youngest airline, faced turbulence due to pilot resignations, forcing flight cancellations —the highest among commercial carriers. As a result, Akasa slipped from its lead position, falling to the sixth spot in domestic market share in August, with a 4.2% share, just behind SpiceJet’s marginally higher 4.4%, highlighting the competitive nature of the industry.

IndiGo saw its market share decline by 10 basis points in August, standing at 63.3 percent, carrying 78.67 lakh passengers. In May, its market share had risen by 390 basis points, followed by a 180 basis points rise in June.

Air India maintained its position as the second-largest domestic carrier in August with a market share of 9.8 percent, flying 12.12 lakh passengers. However, it saw a 10 basis points decrease from July’s market share of 9.9 percent. Vistara’s market share increased by 140 basis points to 9.8 percent in August, with 12.17 lakh passengers, following a 30 basis points rise in July.

AirAsia India remained the fourth-largest player with a market share of 7.1 percent in August, serving 8.78 lakh passengers. Akasa Air, a new entrant, struggled with pilot shortages and aircraft grounding, resulting in a 100 basis points drop in market share to 4.2 per cent.

SpiceJet’s share up

SpiceJet saw a 20 basis points increase in market share in August, marking a change from months of decline. However, the airline faced legal troubles, including a contempt notice issued to its chairman and managing director by the Supreme Court.

The passenger load factors for major airlines in August were as follows: SpiceJet (90.9 percent), Vistara (91.3 percent), IndiGo (83.6 percent), Air India (84.5 percent), and AirAsia India (82.4 percent). Akasa Air’s load factor rose slightly from 86.6 percent in July to 87.3 percent in August.

In August, there were 288 passenger complaints, resulting in a rate of around 0.23 complaints per 10,000 passengers carried.

IndiGo maintained the best on-time performance in August, with 89 percent punctuality at four metro airports: Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. AirAsia and Vistara followed as the second and third most punctual airlines.

Overall, on-time performance improved by 2-5 percent in August compared to July, despite previous declines due to heavy rainfall across India in June and July.