When IndiGo took to the Indian skies in August 2006, Jet Airways was the largest airline in India with a market share of 27.7 percent. More than a decade later, the former is the largest airline with a market share of almost 50 percent, while the latter is on ventilator.
While 6E carrier IndiGo has been the largest airline in India since 2013, the latest data from DGCA shows that IndiGo now commands a marker share of almost 50 percent or 49.9 percent to be precise. This means that every second flyer in the country takes an IndiGo flight or every second flight operated in the Indian skies is 6E.
If one looks at the market share, IndiGo was able to utilise the opportunity available post the shutdown of Kingfisher Airlines in October 2012 and hence, from a market share of 19.75 percent in 2011, it quickly moved to 25.55 percent in 2012 and then dethroned Jet Airways as the largest carrier in 2013 with a market holding of 29.5 percent.
Jet Airways, on the other hand, witnessed a fall in market share in 2013, mirroring its bad financial health. After having made gains on Kingfisher exit, Jet raised its domestic share to 27.4 percent in 2012 from 24.7 percent in 2011 but this quickly went down to 26.2 percent in 2013.
Since then, IndiGo has made steady but aggressive gains, placing mega orders after every four to five years starting with 100 A320, then 180 and 250 of A320 neo family and then 50 ATRs. With this, IndiGo now accounts for half of the country's total order-book.
Its market share has mirrored the capacity induction and has risen from 31.8 percent in 2014 to 36.7 percent in 2015 to 39.3 percent in 2016 to 39.6 percent in 2017 and then sending 2018 with 41.5 percent.
But, what changed since January? Well, the subtle gains increased by leaps and bounds with the second largest airline of the country crumbling due to scarcity or rather absence of funds. Jet Airways' aircraft started getting grounded by half a dozen every week since February thus affecting dozens of flights. An aircraft usually does 5-6 flights a day.
The situation kept on worsening for Jet Airways which was left with just 35 planes in active operations, with 70 percent of its total fleet of 119 planes grounded. IndiGo, which added one plane every week last year, has been inducting capacity faster than everyone else this year as well.
From 208 planes as on December 31, its website shows that as of today, it has a fleet of 227 aircraft. This means that it has maintained the speed of one aircraft every week. This means that while passengers were desperately looking for alternative options to travel, IndiGo was the only one ready to take that traffic.
From 42.5 percent market share in January, IndiGo quickly rose to 43.4 percent in February, 46.9 percent in March and 49.9 percent in April.
The airline currently flies to 71 destinations including 54 domestic and boasts of three pillars- on-time, low-fares and hassle-free experience. However, a check on social media accounts, DGCA data and travel websites will show you that it still has to go a long way to become punctual and hassle-free.