SpiceJet tops occupancy in July, but IndiGo still biggest carrier

SpiceJet beat its bigger rival IndiGo in flight occupancy for the second month in July, according to figures released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

With a number of discount offers in spite of an increasing financial burden, SpiceJet also overtook Jet Airways to become the second-largest domestic airline in July. Its share of the market in the month stood at 20.9 per cent, compared with the Jet Airways-JetLite combine's 19.6 per cent.

 Among Indian carriers, SpiceJet had the highest flight occupancy of 79.4 per cent in July, even as IndiGo's flight occupancy fell to 67 per cent from 79.1 per cent in June.

SpiceJet had also topped IndiGo in flight occupancy in June, with load factor at 81.4 per cent.

SpiceJet has been one of the most aggressive carriers in offering discount schemes. It started the fare war in January with up to 50 per cent discounts, leading the way for all other airlines to follow suit.

 Since then SpiceJet has launched move than a dozen discount sales schemes.

Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer of SpiceJet, said, "Our increase in loads and market share is the result of our new network, improved branding and product, and most importantly, our dynamic pricing and revenue management approach where we believe flying empty seats, which is the ultimate perishable commodity, is a waste, especially for budget airlines."

 However, in terms of number of passengers carried, IndiGo remains the biggest domestic carrier. In July, the airline carried 16 lakh passengers as compared to 10.92 lakh for SpiceJet. This gives IndiGo a market share of 30.7 per cent as compared to 20.9 per cent for SpiceJet.