Despite all the negative publicity that IndiGo has been receiving of alleged rude behaviour by its crew, the airline’s popularity appears to be intact. A traffic report prepared by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shows that IndiGo is still the market leader in domestic aviation. IndiGo captured 39.5 per cent share of the domestic aviation market in October.
While the DGCA traffic report has analysed statistical data till October 2017, the incidents of maltreatment by IndiGo staff began in November. One was that of an elderly man being beaten up at Delhi airport and another of Olympian P V Sindhu being harassed. A third incident involved an elderly woman falling from her wheelchair on the tarmac of Lucknow airport due to the alleged negligence of IndiGo staff.
A whopping 41.33 lakh passengers travelled by IndiGo in October. This is about three times that of SpiceJet during the same month and four times that of GoAir. Air India captured 13.1 per cent of market share with 13.66 lakh passengers flying by it in October.
Going by the traffic report data, it seems passengers have fixed choices about the airlines that they choose to travel in. Around 13 per cent of fliers chose SpiceJet and two per cent chose JetLite since January this year. Over 38 per cent passengers chose IndiGo. Air Asia, according to the data, is the fourth largest low cost carrier after IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir with a market share of 4.3 per cent.
Yatra.com, a travel portal, said the booking and airfare trends of IndiGo have been fairly steady in the past one month. Notwithstanding IndiGo’s credentials of on-time-performance, very few flight cancellations and denied boardings, the travel industry is speculating a downfall in the market share of the airline after incidents of passenger maltreatment. President of Travel Agents Association of India, Iqbal Mulla said, “In the long run it is going to affect IndiGo. If incidents of passenger manhandling happen in daylight then people will have to think twice before booking on an IndiGo flight.”
Subhash Goyal, president of Indian Association of Tour Operators, said passengers are showing interest in other airlines. “Given the fact that airfares of GoAir, IndiGo and SpiceJet are almost the same, people have other options,” said Goyal.