Bangalore: Air Deccan, India's pioneering low cost airline has announced that it has recorded a 32% increase in the number of passengers it flew in May 2007, as against May 2006. The average load factor in May 2007 remained high at 85%, and also witnessed an increase over May 2006, where the load factor averaged around 82%.
For the record, the airline carried 704,043 passengers in May 2007 as compared to 533,376 in May 2006.
Over the same period the airline is now operating 350 flights a day, as against 250 daily flights last year, marking a growth of 40%. The depth of its connectivity across the country has also increased, with 65 destinations on its roster, as against 55 cities last May.
Air Deccan has flown over 11 million passengers since its inception in the year 2003.
According to Samyukth Sridharan, chief revenue officer, and head, marketing, Air Deccan, "This growth in passenger traffic has largely been driven by rapid route and capacity expansion by Air Deccan. We have added 100 new flights and 10 new destinations to our network map since May last year, increasing the daily seat capacity by 34%."
In an indirect reference to recent controversies over passenger bookings, Sridharan also said, "Our on-time performance is amongst the best in the industry, and in May the figure stood at 99.48% (within 1 hour). Our new reservation system, introduced in February 07 has now successfully integrated and all the teething problems that had cropped up due to the migration have been ironed out. With efficient systems and a strong workforce we shall strive to maintain healthy loads all the year round."
Air Deccan also said that, historically, passenger traffic in the country sees an upward surge during May, owing to vacationers and the onset of the holiday season. At a wider level it said that the strengthening of the Indian economy over the years had aided passenger growth, and created demand for both business and leisure travel.
On an upbeat note, India's pioneering low-cost-carrier also pointed out that this year too, as last year, Air Deccan had observed 95-100% load factor on several sectors like Kolkata - Hyderabad, Delhi - Bhopal, Chennai - Trivandrum, Ahmedabad - Mumbai etc.
As a vindication of its policy to tap uncharted territory, the carrier also said that unconventional sectors like Bhopal-Jabalpur, Mumbai-Kolhapur, Hyderabad-Rajahmundry, which are not serviced by any other airline, also experienced load factors above 90% in May 2007.
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Air Deccan has said that it has been ranked 14th in the Airline Business 2006 global low cost carrier traffic ranking.