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Air Deccan races past Indian?

Air Deccan claims its market share has jumped to second positon, while Indian maintains there is no merit in the claim.
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 26, 2006 02:19 PM IST

They may not be the champs of the Indian skies, but flag carrier Indian and no-frills airline Air Deccan are second to none in laying claim for the number two slot in the crowded civil aviation sector.

While Air Deccan, the country's first low cost carrier, claimed that its market share had jumped to 21.2 per cent as of June-end, Indian (erstwhile Indian Airlines) maintained that its share remained static at 22 per cent and hence there was no merit in the rival's claim for the slot next to the leader - Jet Airways.

"Air Deccan has garnered a market share of 21.2 per cent in June, a rise of 1.8 per cent since May 2005 while the market of Indian dipped to 20.8 per cent in the month of June," Air Deccan claimed in a statement here today and attributed this growth to its constant marketing and low prices.

However, late in the evening, Indian came out with a statement claiming that its market share was constant at 22 per cent and that it continued to be the number two player.

"Indian's market share in June 2006 was 22 per cent and has been constant despite the shortage of aircraft due to a maintenance backlog, operation of flights on international sectors and operation of special domestic evacuation flights for Lebanon returnees," the statement said.

Reacting to Air Deccan's claim, a spokesman for Indian said the airlines would "like to emphatically and unequivocally state that it continues to be the second largest airline in the country."

The spokesman said the Indian's market share in June 2006 was 22 per cent and has been constant despite the shortage of aircraft due to a maintenance backlog, operation of flights on international sectors and operation of special domestic evacuation flights for Lebanon returnees.

With the planned increase in aircraft availability, leasing of aircraft and induction of a new fleet of 43 aircraft, Indian expects to substantially increase its passenger capacity and market share in the coming months, the spokesman said.

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