India air traffic in Jan-May up 17.6 pct; Jet leads

Monday, 27 June 2011 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters ­-Number of passengers carried by domestic carriers in Jan-May rose 17.6 percent to 24.5 million, with Jet Airways continuing to hold the largest market share, government data showed.

Jet, Kingfisher Airlines and IndiGo carried more than 1 million passengers each in May. Domestic traffic for the month rose to 5.4 million from 4.7 million in April.

Earlier this month, Jet said it flew 2 million passengers in May.

Jet Airways and its budget arm JetLite recorded market share of 26.1 percent for May, while Kingfisher came in second with 20 percent.

Budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet had market share of 19.9 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively.

IndiGo on Wednesday firmed up a record order for 180 single-aisle Airbus aircraft valued at $16.2 billion at list prices.

State-run Air India, which is in the midst of a massive debt and operational restructuring, slipped one notch to fifth place with a share of 13.2 percent, hit by a pilots strike in early May. Budget carrier GoAir finished sixth with 6.6 percent.

Load factors, or the average occupancy per airline, of all six firms rose from a month earlier, as demand increased during the peak vacation season.

Jet's load factors rose to 79.8 percent in May from 66 percent in April and budget arm JetLite's increased to 84.3 percent from 72.1 percent.

Kingfisher's load factor rose to 88.4 percent from 79.8 percent.

Air India's loads increased to 78.1 percent in May from 68.1 percent, while SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir had seat factors in the eighties.

Air traffic has been steadily rising in India, as demand booms in an economy growing at over 8 percent.