Low-cost airline SpiceJet, known for offering massive fare discounts, claims to have dislodged Jet Airways to become the second- largest domestic carrier. Kalanithi Maran-run SpiceJet claims that it now commands 21-percent slice of the market relegating Jet to the third spot  (19.6 per cent) in July this year. No- frills carrier Indigo continues to be the market leader.

SpiceJet issued a statement also saying that it has posted an industry – best load factor (seat occupancy) of 79.4 per cent in July up from 67.9 per cent during the same month last year, as per traffic data of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).  “Our increase in loads and 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,” Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer (COO) SpiceJet was quoted as saying. According to SpiceJet, market leader IndiGo’s share declined to 30.7 per cent in July from 31.7 per cent in June. The DGCA has not formally released the figures yet but SpiceJet claims to have accessed the numbers.

SpiceJet has also recently announced a slew of new products, including SpiceFlex which offers traveler greater flexibility and various perks to go along with their booking, an all-new SpiceMAX that offers for a modest premium, significantly more legroom and more personal space in the first five rows of our Boeing aircraft , and its new in-flight meal service produce and online meal booking options, offering the best in-flight booking and dining experience in India today, featuring a greater than before choice of real hot meals as well as many other food and beverage options. Customer feedback indicates that these changes have been welcomed by customers, who are noticing the gradual emergence of an all-new SpiceJet.

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The airline operates more than 340 daily flights to 47 destinations, including 40 Indian and 7 international cities. SpiceJet connects its network using next generation fleet of 32 Boeing 737-800 and 6 Boeing 737-900ER aircrafts, along with 15 Bombardier Q-400 aircraft that are focused on Tier II and Tier III cities. SpiceJet has been aggressively discounting fares since the beginning of this year. The firstmover advantage has helped the airline mop up cash for working capital as it faced cash flow problem.

With confidence gained from being one of the top airlines in India in terms of on-time performance, SpiceJet recently launched its “On Time Guarantee” (OTG) program that assures passengers that if a flight is delayed for any reason that are within the control of the airline, then flyers will be automatically compensated with discount vouchers for their next travel. SpiceJet has steadily gained market share from 17.8 per cent in March.

Meanwhile, Jet has lost its market share the most rapidly this year from 25.2 per cent in January. SpiceJet posted a loss of Rs 124.10 crore in the April-June period, its fourth straight quarterly loss, compared to a net profit of Rs 50.56 crore in the same quarter a year earlier.

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