Top 5 airlines in India positioned itself as a leader in overall airlines industry

In search of the best air companies, here’s our pick of the top five airlines in India. India, a giant South Asian country, has a large aviation market owing to its huge population. Over the last few decades, India has undergone enormous aviation growth and positioned itself as a leader in air infrastructure development. Airlines are constantly evolving to serve India’s ever-growing demand for air travel. There is an intense rivalry among airlines in India, with each carrier trying to outperform its competitor by offering affordable fares, high-quality products, etc.

1. IndiGo

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., serving as IndiGo, is, hands down, the topmost airline in India that has dominated home skies over the years by edging out other players on various parameters such as the number of passengers carried, fleet size, and on-time performance. It is the largest carrier in India in terms of jet fleet size and passenger carried and has now emerged to secure a spot in the top 10 worldwide.

IndiGo Airbus A320 NEO VT-IZJ passenger plane landing at Istanbul Ataturk Airport; PHOTO DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM

IndiGo is a low-cost carrier headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, that primarily operates domestic service to over 70 destinations in India with bases at Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Kochi. It is a key player in India’s domestic air travel market, with a market share of 57.7% as of August 2022. In an increasingly competitive aviation sector with a wafer-thin profit margin, IndiGo has managed 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 almost 17 years of legacy, the discount airline is here to stay and will constantly enhance its engagement with its customers to augment their travel experience.

  • Flying with IndiGo-where?

If you are a domestic traveler, you can fly with IndiGo to Indian destinations like Kolkata, Bengaluru, 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? Take-off onboard IndiGo aircraft to cities of over 20 foreign countries like Doha, Dammam, Kuwait, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Bahrain, Bangkok, Belgrade, Brussels, Budapest, Chengdu, Chattogram, Colombo, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, etc.

  •  IndiGo’s Fleet

The top 1 airline in India, IndiGo flies a fleet of 279 aircraft-predominantly Airbus jets, including A320-200s, A320neos, and Airbus A321neos. The carrier also has 35 ATR 72-600 regional jets for bringing air connectivity to smaller Indian airports and communities.

2. Air India

The last few years have been a roller coaster ride for former state-owned airline Air India. From being a market leader for three decades to making humungous losses and lying on the verge of defaulting on its loans, Air India has made a huge turnaround. But, the debt-laden national carrier has finally returned to its original founders-the, the Tatas, and is beginning a fresh start. Over its 76 years of legacy, the flag carrier of India has seen plenty of ups as high as the literal sky and downs as steep as the proverbial thud.

An Air India Boeing 747 landing on June 6, 2010 in Prague, PHOTO DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM ; In article top five airlines in India

Currently, Tata Sons-controlled Air India is struggling with its dwindled market share, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the most sought-after carriers in India. The carrier has a minimal share of around 8% in the domestic market, but it is still the largest international airline out of India, with over 18% market share. 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 domestic cities like Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Ladah, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, etc.

Besides, Air India has an 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, US, Spain, Syria, etc.

  • Fleet of Air India

Despite being beleaguered with debts, Air India has kept its fleet size somewhat steady. 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 777-300ER, and Boeing 787-8.

Since the January takeover, Air India has already significantly transformed its operations and plotted huge domestic and international expansion in the coming years. It envisages retaining 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 over 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 an airline of choice. Under good management and a relentless push for passenger excellence, it may make a significant dent in IndiGo’s operation and become India’s top airline again.

3. Vistara

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 over 40 destinations across 12 countries from its primary hub, Indira Gandhi International Airport. It is often billed as India’s best airline with hassle-free and comfortable passenger experience, award-winning inflight service, warm hospitality, and world-class sanitization standards.

Vistara Airbus A320neo flying in the sky from Leh airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport) view from Spituk Monastery in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India.PHOTO DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM ; In article top five airlines in India

Tata Sons, the owner of Air India, 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 onboard state-of-the-art aircraft featuring comfortable seats, complimentary onboard meals, and spacious legroom. It has over 50 aircraft consisting of Airbus A320, A320neo, A321neo, Boeing 737-800, and B787-9s, offering a unique three-class configuration featuring economy, business, and premium economy cabins onboard. 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.

4. GoAir

GoAir, the ultra-low-cost airline based in Mumbai, also makes it to the list of the top five airlines in India. The aviation foray of India’s Wadia Group, GoAir, is one of the largest airlines in India, with a handful of bases in Mumbai, Delhi, Banglore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, and Kannur. It runs a tight ship with young, similar aircraft fleeting, consisting of Airbus A320-200 and Airbus A320neos. It focuses on the ultra-low-cost business model to offer its customers a combination of ‘ultra-competitive .’Its inherent ULCC structure positions GoAir uniquely in a fast-developing Indian aviation market and keeps it resilient during tough aviation situations.

GoAir airplane docking at Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. PHOTO DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM ; In article top five airlines in India

Some main reasons GoAir secures a spot among the best, and top airlines in India include attractive airfares, squeaky-clean flying experience, well-sanitized flights, and on-time performance.

  • Network of GoAir

 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 the United Arab Emirates. Visit the places you’ve always dreamt of at prices that don’t pinch with GoAir.

 5. SpiceJet

One of India’s top 5 domestic airlines, SpiceJet is a key low-cost player catering to the most cost-sensitive passenger demand in the world. It is the second-largest Indian carrier in terms of domestic passenger volume, a 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.

A Boeing 737-800 airplane of SpiceJet taking off from Dubai International Airport (DXB). PHOTO DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM ; In article top five airlines in India

SpiceJet is a crucial contributor to regional connectivity expansion in India under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. It has a strong air presence in India, serving 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, UAE, and Vietnam. It touts a humble fleet of over 100 passengers and cargo aircraft criss-cross the skies across Indian airspace and internationally. In recent months, the carrier has garnered public attention for all wrong reasons- technical malfunction, abysmal safety record, and mounting financial crisis..; however, it has continued surviving most on the back of its low-cost pricing.

With the gradual recovery of the global aviation industry from the pandemic-induced downturn, Indian airlines are poised to enhance air services and make India one of the most well-networked countries in the world by flights.

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