IndiGo catches up with Kingfisher to become joint second

Just a month after beating Air India (Domestic) to reach the number three slot, fast-growing low cost carrier IndiGo moved up the ladder to occupy joint second position along with Kingfisher among domestic carriers in December.

From a market share of 16.2 per cent in September, it jumped to 18.6 per cent in December, while the market share of the other three top carriers - Jet Airways, Kingfisher and AI - declined.

The figures for the month of December were released on Tuesday, a week after the no-frills carrier entered the record books with the single largest order for big jets in commercial aviation industry when it announced a $15.6-billion (about Rs70,000 crore) deal with Airbus to purchase 180 aircraft. (See: Airbus, IndiGo confirm massive $15.6-bn order for 180 jets)

Last year ended with domestic air travellers flying like never before - a record 520.2 lakh people took to the Indian skies, 18.7 per cent higher than the 2009 figure of 438.4 lakh. This is the first time that annual domestic carriage crossed the five-crore mark.

The last quarter of 2010 (October to December) saw the maximum number of people traveling by air – 147.1 lakh. The third quarter of 2009 had seen 119.8 lakh air travellers. Passengers carried in the second quarter were 134.8 lakh while in the first quarter 118.5 lakh people travelled by air.

Not surprisingly, given the numbers, airlines flew with their planes full in the range of 78.8 per cent (for AI-domestic) to 93.3 per cent (for IndiGo).