As per latest reports, a significant increase in the load factor of all low-cost carriers has been observed in the last few months. The Sun Group-owned airline – SpiceJet – has recorded more than 85 per cent flight occupancy in the month of September. Flights to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi as well as Tier II cities were almost fully loaded in the studied month. This LCC carried around 4.9 crore people this year. It caters to more than 49 destinations by operating over 300 flights every day. Most of the flights are managed from its primary hub and monitored from the corporate office in Gurgaon. These destinations include domestic as well as international ones. It has a fleet size of over 50 aircraft, including latest models manufactured like Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 and Boeing 737 Next Generation. The airline gained over two per cent market share this year and is behind IndiGo only in the ranking list. However, it has surpassed the leading carrier in terms of flight occupancy.
The latest report gives out a similar picture; IndiGo still leads the market with over 32 per cent shares, followed by SpiceJet (as far as LCCs are concerned). As per reports, because of low-cost fares offered by SpiceJet, the Indian aviation industry saw topsy-turvy curves. The capacity addition and sales announced by the airline operating under the Sun Group attracted fair share of fliers. As a result more deals were offered by most carriers leading to a fare war in the market, which benefitted both – passengers and airlines. This is the reason that almost all carriers operating in the country reported higher load factor during September as per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.
Apart from record breaking SpiceJet flight booking, GoAir and JetLite also surpassed the 80 per cent benchmark. Industry watchers are of the opinion that those carriers, which manage to fill 400 (or more than that) seats out of 500 usually post profits in their financial books. However, it is not necessary in case of sales as prices are lower than normal, which in turn may affect the revenue structure. Even if it does not report profit, the operating cost is usually recovered, creating a breakeven point – where no loss or profit is registered.