In Jet Airways’ absence, Air India does its best in 5 years


Collapse of Jet Airways did a world of good to its peers, including struggling national carrier Air India. The biggest beneficiary though was IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation), which expanded aggressively to make the most of the absence of Jet Airways, to further extend its dominance in the domestic aviation sector.

Jet Airways had closed operations in April last year after it ran out of money. Though an insolvency process is on to get a new owner, it increasingly looks like an insurmountable climb. Much of its aircraft, airport slots and flying rights have been distributed to peers.

Data released by industry regulator DGCA, showed that for the first time since 2014 — till when the numbers are available — Air India has managed to arrest a slide in its market share. The national carrier ended 2019 with a share of 12.7 percent, same as the year earlier.

On the other hand since 2014, when its market share was 18.4 percent, Air India has kept losing out to its private peers each year. Its market share graph is a constant slide — 16.4 percent in 2015, 14.6 percent in 2016, and 13.3 percent in 2017.

In the first three months of 2019, the Naresh Goyal-founded airline saw its numbers falling drastically, ending the March quarter with a share of 8.9 percent. That dropped to 0.8 percent in April, when Jet Airways last operated a flight.

Overall, it ended the year with a market share of 2.3 percent.

The biggest gainer
Each of Jet Airways’ private peers — IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet, Vistara and AirAsia — benefited from its absence.

GoAir’s market share grew to 10.6 percent in 2019 from 9 percent year-on-year. SpiceJet’s share too increased to 14.9 percent a year later from 12.3 percent in 2018.