In search of the best airlines, here is a selection of the top five airlines in India India, a giant South Asian country, has a large aviation market due to its large population. Over the past few decades, India has made great strides in aviation and positioned itself as a leader in aviation infrastructure development. Airlines are constantly evolving to meet India’s growing demand for air travel. There is a fierce competition among airlines in India, with each carrier trying to outdo its competitor by offering affordable fares, high-quality products, etc.
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., operating as IndiGo, is hands down, India’s leading airline that has dominated the domestic airspace for years, eclipsing other players on various parameters such as passenger carrying capacity, fleet size and on-time performance. It is India’s largest carrier in terms of jet fleet size and passenger carrying and has now emerged to secure a spot in the top 10 globally.
IndiGo is a low-cost carrier headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, that operates domestic services to over 70 destinations in India, primarily with bases in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Kochi. It is a significant player in India’s domestic air travel market, with a market share of 57.7% as of August 2022. With a wafer-thin profit margin in an increasingly competitive aviation sector, IndiGo has been able to touch success due to its impeccable performance on three pillars – low fares, on-time service and a courteous and hassle-free experience. In fact, this budget carrier has mastered the art of maintaining a firm hold on costs by flying a uniform fleet of young aircraft and ensuring their high utilization rates. With a legacy of nearly 17 years, the discount airline is here to stay and will continuously increase their engagement with their customers to enhance their travel experience.
- Where are you flying with Indigo?
If you are a domestic traveler you can fly to Indian destinations like Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Patna, Lucknow, Chennai, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Agartala, Agra, Aizawl, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bagdogra, Bareilly. Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dehradun, Goa, Gorakhpur, Delhi, Indore, Jabalpur etc.
Want some Indigo experience on international flights? Indigo flights take-off from more than 20 foreign cities like Doha, Dammam, Kuwait, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Bahrain, Bangkok, Belgrade, Brussels, Budapest, Chengdu, Chittagong, Colombo, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong. Kong, Hanoi, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur etc.
India’s top 1 airline, IndiGo flies a fleet of 279 aircraft-primarily Airbus jets, including A320-200s, A320neos, and Airbus A321neos. The carrier also has 35 ATR 72-600 regional jets to bring air connectivity to smaller Indian airports and communities.
2. Air India
The past few years have been a roller coaster ride for former state-owned airline Air India From being the market leader for three decades to incurring huge losses and on the verge of defaulting on its debt, Air India has undergone a massive turnaround. But, the debt-laden national carrier has finally returned to its original founders – the Tatas, and is making a fresh start. Over 76 years of legacy, India’s flag carrier has seen literal sky-high ups and downs and proverbial steep ups.
Currently, Tata Sons-controlled Air India is struggling with its declining market share, but that does not change the fact that it is one of India’s most sought-after carriers. The carrier has a minimal share of around 8% in the domestic market, but is still the largest international airline outside India, with a market share of over 18%. Being a flag carrier, it flies to an extensive network of over 100 destinations across four continents and carries over 10 million passengers annually.
- Destinations served by Air India.
Air India has its main strategic base at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, for all its long-haul and short-haul markets and several focus cities including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram. Fly with the flagship airline Air India and experience warm Indian hospitality in native cities like Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Ladah, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu. , etc
Besides, Air India has international presence in several countries like Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan. Russia, Qatar, UK, USA, Spain, Syria, etc
Despite being saddled with debt, Air India has kept its fleet size relatively stable. It has a mainline fleet of over 110 narrow-body and widebody aircraft including Airbus A319-100, Airbus A320-200, A320neo, A321-200, A321neo, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777,ER7-30e.
Since the January takeover, Air India has already transformed its operations significantly and plans massive domestic and international expansion in the coming years. It plans to retain a 30% domestic market share in five years by opening several new regional hubs across the country and strengthening its international operations with 20 new flights to the UK and US in the next 15 months.
Hopefully, Air India will regain its past glory when many international carriers recognize it as the gold standard of service and airline of choice. Under good management and relentless pursuit of passenger excellence, it can make a significant dent in IndiGo’s operations and become India’s top airline again.
Another top airline in India is Vistara – a full-service carrier doing business as a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines. Based in Gurgaon, Vistara operates flights to more than 40 destinations in 12 countries from its primary hub, Indira Gandhi International Airport. It is often billed as India’s best airline with a hassle-free and comfortable passenger experience, award-winning inflight service, warm hospitality and world-class sanitization standards.
Air India owner Tata Sons has a 51% stake in Vistara; The rest is owned by Singapore Airlines (SIA). This premium-service carrier offers Tata’s and SIA’s legendary hospitality and renowned service on state-of-the-art aircraft featuring comfortable seats, complimentary onboard meals and spacious legroom. It has more than 50 aircraft including Airbus A320, A320neo, A321neo, Boeing 737-800, and B787-9s, offering a unique three-class configuration consisting of economy, business, and premium economy cabins. This top airline in India caters to the right mix of business and leisure travelers by offering a well-balanced product and encouraging brand loyalty from them.
GoAir, the Mumbai-based ultra-low-cost airline, has made it to the list of top five airlines in India. India’s Wadia Group, the aviation arm of GoAir, is one of India’s largest airlines with bases in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Kannur. It operates a tight fleet with a younger, similar aircraft fleet consisting of Airbus A320-200 and Airbus A320neos. It focuses on ultra-low-cost business model to offer its customers a combination of ‘ultra-competitive’. Its inherent ULCC structure uniquely positions GoAir in a fast-evolving Indian aviation market and keeps it resilient in tough aviation conditions.
Some of the main reasons why GoAir has secured a place among the best, and top airlines in India include attractive airfares, spotless flying experience, well-sanitized flights and on-time performance.
GoAir has both domestic and international presence in a total of 10 countries viz. India, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. Go to the places you’ve always dreamed of at unbeatable prices with GoAir
One of India’s top 5 domestic airlines, SpiceJet is a key low-cost player catering to the needs of the world’s most cost-sensitive passengers. It is the second largest Indian carrier by domestic passenger volume, one step below IndiGo Airlines. Headquartered in Gurgaon, SpiceJet operates an average of over 600 flights per day to an extensive network of 54 Indian and 15 international destinations from its operating bases at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad.
SpiceJet is a major contributor to the expansion of regional connectivity in India under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. It has a strong air presence in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Pondicherry. , Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
SpiceJet’s international flights are offered to cities in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Maldives, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. It flies a modest fleet of over 100 passenger and cargo aircraft across Indian airspace and internationally. In recent months, the carrier has drawn public attention for all the wrong reasons—technical glitches, abysmal safety records, and mounting financial woes..; However, it survives most on the back of its low cost price.
With the global aviation industry slowly recovering from the pandemic recession, Indian airlines are set to improve air services and make India one of the world’s best-connected countries by flight.