Air India's market share has dropped significantly over the years. From being the top domestic airline at the start of the millennium, it has become just another player trying to stay on the runway. The airline performs poorly relative to its competitors on timeliness, attention to passenger grievances, and fare affordability. These factors have had a big impact on the airline's finances.
In FY01, Air India and Indian Airlines carried half the domestic passengers. However, in 2019 as of October, the airline has flown only over a tenth of them. The chart shows the domestic passenger share of major airlines in two different years.
Losing its share
Not a crowd puller
A major factor behind Air India's fall in market share is dissatisfaction of customers who chose less expensive and better service players. The national carrier's on-time performance fared the worst among major airlines. It has also failed to address a relatively high percentage of passenger complaints in the last four years unlike others.
While Air India's services have been the poorest, its ticket prices are among the most expensive. The table compares the lowest fares of major airlines in two routes.
Passengers spend more
As passenger revenue fell, Air India's losses ballooned. For the past nine years, Air India has never turned a profit. In 2018-19, the company's loss before tax was Rs 8,475 crore, its highest in seven years.
Sources: DGCA, Public Enterprises Surveys, BSE filings