By Sarah Townsend
India is already third largest for domestic passenger traffic, more growth possible
India is fast becoming the world’s third largest aviation market, with passenger numbers growing by around 20 percent each year – far exceeding the global average of 7.3 percent, Emirates noted in its latest monthly bulletin.
The Dubai-based carrier said in 2016 India’s domestic passenger traffic stood at 100 million, an increase of 23 percent from the previous year and making it the third largest market for domestic passengers.
Meanwhile, India’s international traffic stood at 59 million, an increase of 10 percent, Emirates said, citing figures from OAG Analyser, IATA and the Centre for Aviation (CAPA).
In recent years, much of India’s aviation growth has come from Indian carriers, which have significantly built their market share with new international services, Emirates’ bulletin said. Air India, for example, has launched new routes from India to San Francisco, London, Vienna and Madrid in the past year, while Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Indigo have also expanded.
Expansion by Indian carriers into the US is particularly significant, Emirates said, adding that the three largest US carriers (Delta, American and United) barely serve the US-India market at present, “claiming that Emirates has driven them out”.
“While they complain, Air India continues to grow and now operates to five US points (New York, Chicago, Newark, San Francisco and Washington D.C.) with plans to add two more (Los Angeles and either Houston or Dallas).
Emirates ranks third among the international carriers operating to and from India, with an 8.7 percent market share, the airline said, behind Jet Airways with 13.7 percent and Air Indian with 10.4 percent.
Meanwhile, in the past few years, seat capacity between Indian and Dubai has increased significantly, Emirates’ bulletin noted. Again, most of this growth has come from the Indian carriers, who in i2015 alone, increased capacity by 27 percent between the two points, copmared with 14 percent growth from Dubai carriers.
Indian carriers now have a 64 percent market share in terms of frequencies on routes between Dubai and India, with 362 weekly flights compared to the 202 operated by Dubai carriers, according to OAG Analyser statistics.
“As a long term strategic partner for India, Emirates is committed to future investment and expansion in th emarket to support India’s 2020 growth targets,” the airline wrote.
“With increased capacity, Emirates can contriute even more to India’s growth in the years to come.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.