Air Passenger Traffic Jumps To Nearly Three-Year High In December

IndiGo remained the market leader in December, followed by Vistara at second spot with Air India.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An IndiGo aircraft. (Source Company website)</p></div>
An IndiGo aircraft. (Source Company website)

India’s air passenger traffic rose to a nearly three-year high in December amid high festive demand and year-end spike in travel. That led to passenger rush resulting in overcrowding at major airports across the country.

Traffic rose 13.7% year-on-year to 1.27 crore, according to the monthly data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

While the tally is higher than the corresponding pre-Covid month of December 2019, the traffic fell short of the most recent peak of 1.28 crore in January 2020.

The passenger rush at airports led to complaints of people missing flights despite reaching the airport on time, huge crowds, passengers jumping queues, and overwhelmed staff.

People took to social media to complain as the infrastructure failed to cope with the surge in flyers driven by the festive season and revenge travel after the pandemic. The Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia had to visit Delhi airport to take stock of the situation.

IndiGo Remains Market Leader

IndiGo, which is operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., remained the market leader in December. But, the airline's market share dropped 80 basis points to 54.9%, making it the fifth consecutive month when its market share has either remained flat or declined.

Vistara remained at second spot with Air India, each with a market share of 9.2%.

With AirAsia India's 7.6% market share, Tata Group airlines commanded a total of 26% market share in the domestic market.

The Wadia Group-controlled Go Air's market share remained flat at 7.5% in December, while the late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's recently launched airline Akasa Air made further inroads by improving its market share to 2.3% from 1.8%.

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet Ltd.'s market share rose to 7.6% from 7.5% in the preceding month.

For the year 2022, IndiGo was the top airline with 56.1% market share, followed by Vistara at 9.2%, Go First at 8.8%, SpiceJet and Air India at 8.7% each, and AirAsia India at 6.2%.

On-Time Performance

IndiGo remained the most punctual airline in December with on-time performance of 92.5%.

Tata Group's Vistara, Air India and AirAsia India were at second, third and fourth spot, respectively.

SpiceJet and Go First's punctuality remained poor at 56.9% and 49.7%, respectively. However, both these airlines were at the top when it came to load factors, followed by Vistara, AirAsia India, Air India and IndiGo, among major carriers.