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IndiGo registers highest number of fliers at 1.9 million in May

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MUMBAI: Indian carriers managed to fill their flights a little more in May over April as lower fares during summer vacations encouraged more people to travel. Overall, however, the air passenger traffic in the month grew just 8% and for January-May period about 3%, compared to the previous year.

Airlines continued to add more capacity than there was demand for, indicating it will be a while before the health of the industry improves. Market rankings remained largely unchanged month-on-month with IndiGo flying the maximum number of passengers, overall and per flight, as well as having the most punctual operations in the industry. Indian carriers flew 6.02 million passengers in May, compared to 5.31 million in April and 5.58 million a year earlier, according to figures released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the country’s aviation regulator.

On an average, seven Indian carriers managed to fill about 80.1% of their flights in May, compared to 75% in the lean month of April and 81.6% in May last year. Average capacity measured in capacity per available seat kilometres increased 7.5% as airlines added new flights and routes but demand, measured in revenue per seat kilometre increased only 3.9%. This roughly means that for every two seats added, there was just one taker. Demand rise has consistently underperformed capacity since last October, the DGCA data showed. In May, IndiGo retained its position as a market leader by flying 1.9 million passengers and filling 82% of its flights on average. SpiceJet, which introduced its new network in March, had flight occupancy of 81.8% in the month. IndiGo beat its rivals in punctuality operating 88% of its total flights on time. SpiceJet clocked 83.8% on punctuality.

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