Serene Air is capturing the local market consistently as it recorded double-digit growth of 29 percent for passenger traffic in 2019.
According to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, the airline provided services to 1.75 million passengers in the financial year 2018-19 as compared with 1.35 million passengers in 2017-18.
The airline operated 5,686 flights in six cities in FY19 compared to 5,457 flights recorded in FY18. Hence, the flight frequency of the airline recorded a modest increase of 4 percent which shows that seat reservation of the airline witnessed a remarkable growth including its profitability.
Serene Air has become the second-largest local airline after Pakistan International Airlines. Established in 2017, it operates domestic flights in six cities including federal and provincial capitals.
The airline is in competition with other airlines such as PIA and Airblue to grab the market share which was created due to the closure of Shaheen Air.
The passenger demand is higher compared to the availability of flights, which caused airfares to increase compared to last year whereas a small section of the passengers moved to other means of transportation such as railway and intercity buses due to low purchasing power.
It is pertinent to mention here that overall, domestic flights decreased in the early months of 2019 due to tensions between Pakistan and India which caused a suspension of flights on various routes.
Flights’ Frequency and Passengers’ Traffic of Different Airlines
Besides Serene Air, the number of flights and passengers by PIA and Airblue saw a decline in FY19.
PIA’s frequency of domestic flights dropped by 18% to reach 18,470 and its passenger traffic on domestic flights decreased by 15 percent to stand at 3.60 million during FY19.
Airblue also saw a decline of 9 flights with passengers decreasing 7 percent or 46,000 during the period.
Before its closure of services and operations, Shaheen Air operated 3,550 flights with 943,474 passengers in 2018. The airline left its share in the local market which will be captured by local players depending on the availability of flights, aircraft, and other resources, otherwise, airfares will remain high for passengers.
However, there are new airlines preparing to expand their reach, which is expected to fill the gap in the local market. The demand for domestic airlines will grow consistently in the years to come which needs to be addressed with more airlines on domestic routes.