Indian Aviation

Indian domestic scheduled operators carried 81.1 million passengers in 2015, an increase of 20 per cent over 2014. The first ten months of 2016 witnessed a growth rate of over 23 % as passenger volumes soared close to 81.4 million.

Domestic Airline Passengers - 2009-2015
Airline Total Monthly Passengers Carried
(in thousands)
2015 Jan-Nov (in millions)        
Air India 12.05        
Air Asia 1.23        
Air Costa 0.68        
Go Air 6.29        
IndiGo 27.0        
Jet Airways Group 16.6        
Vistara 0.91        
SpiceJet 8.45        
Air Pegasus 0.1        
Trujet 0.09        
2014 July        
Air India 940        
Air Asia 25        
Air Costa 58        
Go Air 480        
IndiGo 1600        
Jet Airways 817        
Jet Lite (JetKonnect) 204        
SpiceJet 1092        
2012 November        
Air India 1038        
Jet Airways 917        
JetLite 345        
IndiGo 1369        
Go Air 373        
SpiceJet 978        
2011 December        
Air India 978        
Go Air 321        
IndiGo 1149        
Jet Airways 1154        
JetLite 400        
Kingfisher 681        
SpiceJet 946        
2010 June August October    
Air India 760 730 816    
Go Air 261 226 306    
IndiGo 737 656 775    
Jet Airways 840 1078 (inc. JetLite) 870    
JetLite 351   343    
Kingfisher 944 797 877    
Paramount 13        
SpiceJet 598 502 630    
2009January February April August October
Air India 555 574 583 604 740
Go Air 81 84 145 207 215
IndiGo 457 441 441 505 540
Jet Airways 596 597 552 678 785
JetLite 241 249 244 281 314
Kingfisher 919 904 861 820 823
MDLR 13 na 14 na na
Paramount 71 61 75 74 61
SpiceJet 393 413 387 447 491

Scheduled Operators
AirAsia India

AirAsia India operates flights to 10 destinations in India incl. Bengaluru (hub), Chandigarh, Goa, Jaipur, Kochi, Delhi, Pune and Vizag carrying 1.4 million passengers in 2015, its second year of operation.

Air Carnival

Air Carnival, a Coimbatore based airline, is scheduled to being operations in July '16 with flights from Coimbatore to Chennai and Madurai.

Air Costa

A regional airline based in Vijayawada launched commercial service in Oct 2013 with flights connecting the following nine destinations in India: Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Tirupati, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. The airline operated 32 daily flights in Dec '15 and carried 730 000 passengers in 2015.

Air India

Air India Airbus A310-300Air India's fleet includes Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200 and 300 series, Airbus A330-200, Airbus A319/A320/A321, CRJ-700 and ATR-42 aircraft flying to destinations across four continents extending from Chicago in the west, Frankfurt in the north, Tokyo in the east and Melbourne in the south. Air India earned a total revenue of ca ₹213 billion and carried 15.3 million passengers (excl. Air India Express) in the year ended March 2014.

Above pic: An Air India Airbus A310-300 at Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok international airport. Air India now operates Boeing 787 aircraft to Hong Kong.
Air India Boeing 777-337/ER REg. VT-ALO "Karnataka" taxiing at Frankfurt am Main Airport - Timir Mozumder

Air India Express

Air India Express B737-800Air India's low cost airline subsidiary, Air India Express, flies to from 16 Indian cities to international destinations incl. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, Muscat, Salalah, Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Dhaka and Colombo with a fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline carried 2 million passengers in 2013-14 and operates over 200 flights a week to 14 international destinations.

Above pic: An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 at Chennai Airport.

Air India / Indian (IC)

Indian Airlines Airbus A320Indian, now amalgated into Air India, operates Airbus A320s, A321 (the first aircraft to be painted in the new Air India livery) and Airbus A319-112 aircraft. Indian carried approx. 6.6 million passengers in 2008 (770,000 in Oct '09) while total revenues amounted to ₹60.5 bn in 2005-06. The airline is planning a debut in the stock market with an IPO slated for later this year. Indian operates some 325 daily flights and carried approx. 1.7 million passengers on its international routes.

Indian Airlines Dornier 228
Left pic: An Indian Airlines Dornier Do228 at Cochin Airport in 2005. The airline has now phased out the Dornier aircraft and does not currently serve Agatti.

Indian Airlines (old livery) Airbus A320-231 Reg. VT-EPS Taxiing at Delhi IGI Airport (VIDP/DEL) - Timir Mozumder

Air India Regional (Alliance Air)

Alliance Air Airbus A320 Airline Allied Services Ltd. was formed in 1983 as an Indian Airlines subsidiary. Alliance Air (brand name) flight operations began in 1996 and its current fleet includes classic Boeing 737-200s (now phased out), Bombardier CRJ jets and ATR-42-320 turboprop aircraft. Alliance Air carried 1.47 million passengers in 2004-05 with load and seat factors of 64 and 61.5 % respectively. Operating revenues amounted to ₹6.2 bn in the same year. Five of the aged Boeing 737-200 jets will be converted into freighters. Alliance has been planned to become Indian's low cost carrier with a fleet of six CRJ's and an equal number of ATR turboprops. Alliance Air nas been rebranded as Air India Regional.

Above pic: An Alliance Air Boeing 737-200 parked at Delhi Airport. These vintage 737's have now been phased out from scheduled passenger routes.

Air India Regional ATR 42-320 Reg. VT-ABO Taxiing Past Terminal 1D at Delhi IGI Airport, India © Timir Mozumder

Jet Airways

A Jet Airways B737 at Mumbai Sahar Airport Terminal IBJet Airways' fleet includes long-range widebodied Boeing 777, Airbus A330-203s, Boeing 737s (400-, 700-, 800- and 900-series) and ATR-72-212A/500's turbo-props. Total revenues of the airline amounted to ₹ 222 billion while 23.4 million revenue passengers (incl. approx. 7.4 million international route passengers) were carried in 2015-16. Cargo airlifted totalled 220 000 tons during the same year. Jet Airways acquired Air Sahara in April 2007 and subsequently renamed the 100 per cent subsidiary as Jet Lite. Jet flies to 48 domestic and 20 international destinations with 630 daily flights. Jet Airways Konnect, a new all-economy low-cost service, operates over 100 daily flights..

Above pic: A Jet Airways B737 at Mumbai's Sahar Airport Terminal IB, used by private airlines.

Jet Airways Boeing 737-71Q Taxiing Past Terminal 1D at Delhi IGI Airport, India © Timir Mozumder

Go Air

A Go Air A320 at Mumbai Airport Go Air, promoted by the Wadia Group operates flights to Ahmedabad, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Jaipur, Jammu, Kochi, Kolkata, Leh, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Ranchi and Srinagar. Go Air's fleet consists of 22 Airbus A320-200/neo aircraft. Go Air carried 6.9 million passengers in 2015. The airline operates over 140 daily flights to 21 destinations.

GoAir Airbus A320-214 Reg. VT-WAE Taxiing at Delhi IGI Airport - © Timir Mozumder


An IndiGo Airbus A320 at Hyderabad's Begumpet airportIndiGo, India's largest airline (passengers carried) operates a large fleet of 124 Airbus A320 aircraft. Indigo carried over 21.4 million domestic passengers in 2014. The airline operates over 800 daily flights to 40 destinations. IndiGo has 430 A320neo jets on order, deliveries of which commenced in March 2016. The deliveries would be finalized within ten years.

IndiGo Airbus A320-232 Reg. VT-INR Taxiing at Delhi IGI Airport - © Timir Mozumder

JetKonnect (now Jet Airways)

Air Sahara B737 Jet Airways acquired the ertswhile Air Sahara in April 2007 and renamed it as JetLite which was rebranded in 2012 to JetKonnect. JetKonnect has now integrated with Jet Airways.

Left pic: An Air Sahara Boeing 737 at Bangalore's Hindustan Airport, now part of the JetLite fleet.

Air Sahara B737
Left pic: An Air Sahara Boeing 737 (now JetLite) featuring the old livery at Mumbai Sahar Airport.

JetLite Bombardier (Canadair) CRJ-200 Taxiing at Delhi IGI Airport. © Timir Mozumder


SpiceJet SpiceJet flies to 39 Indian and 6 international destinations. The airline carried 2.7 million passengers in Q1 2015/16 and currently operates over 340 daily flights. SpiceJet operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800/900ER and Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft.

Left pic: SpiceJet's VT-SPF "Coriander" Boeing 737-800 at Delhi IGIA.

SpiceJet Boeing 737-8GJ Reg. VT-SPP "Rosemary" Taxiing at Delhi IGI Airport (VIDP/DEL). SpiceJet operates a fleet of 22 Boeing 737 800/900 (as of Nov '10) series aircraft. The airline recently ordered 15 Bombardier Q400 turboprops. Timir Mozumder


Hyderabad based TruJet operates 16 daily flights to the following destinations: Tirupati, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Vijaywada and Rajahmundry. The airline carried 114 000 passengers in 2015.


Vistara flies to 17 destinations in India and operates approx. 455 flights a week. It's main hub is at Delhi IGIA. Vistara carried 1.07 million passengers in 2015. Kolkata is the airline's most recent destination.

Zoom Air


Defunct Operators
Air Pegasus

Air Pegasus operated regional flights within South India from its base at Bengaluru Airport. The airline carried 117 000 passengers in 2015 but had its flying license suspended in Nov '16.

Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher Kingfisher Airlines, one of India's major airlines, suspended all flight operations in Oct '12.

Kingfisher Airlines Airbus A320-232 Reg. VT-ADV Taxiing to Gate at Delhi IGI Airport (VIDP/DEL). © Timir Mozumder

Cabin view of a Kingfisher ATR72A cabin view of a Kingfisher ATR-72 turboprop. ATR aircraft plied on shorter low-density routes covering mainly tourist destinations and 2nd and 3rd-tier cities.

Kingfisher vegetarian mealThe vegetarian meals served on Kingfisher Airlines flights were tasty and hot meals were served even on shorter flights, a rarity eg on shorter intra-European flights. A nice touch is the printed menu served to all passengers.

MDLR Airlines

Gurgaon-based MDLR Airlines offered flights between from Delhi to Chandigarh, Kullu, Ranchi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Goa. MDLR's fleet comprised of tthree British Aerospace Avro RJ70 jet aircraft, the only Avro jets (RJ70) ever to be operated by an Indian carrier. The 70-seater aircraft were configured in a two class layout, 6 business and 64 in economy class.

An MDLR Avro RJ70 readying for take off at Chandigarh airport ( deaphen).

Kingfisher Red

Air Deccan ATR-42Simplifly Deccan (earlier Air Deccan), later on rebranded as Kingfisher Red, was India's pioneering low-cost carrier when launched in 2003. The airline operated a large fleet of ATR-42-320/500 / ATR-72-212A series turbo-props and Airbus A320 aircraft.

Above pic: An Air Deccan ATR-42 at Bangalore Airport. The new Simplifly Deccan livery resembles that of Kingfisher Airlines' red colour dominated livery. Vijay Mallya led UB Group of companies holds an almost 46 per cent stake in Deccan.

Air Deccan A320 cabin view
Left pic: A cabin view of an Air Deccan Airbus A320. Air Deccan aircraft are all-economy and snacks and beverages are sold for a nominal price. The airline has a policy of free seating.

Air Deccan A320
Left pic: An Air Deccan Airbus A320. Simplifly Deccan currently operates 22 A320s configured with 180 seats on high density routes to 27 destinations across India. Simplifly Deccan carried around 7.3 million passengers in 2007.

All-Cargo/Couries Operators
India Post

The Department of Posts has leased a Boeing 737-200 freighter aircraft from Air India to expedite the delivery of mail and parcels in the North-Eastern region of India. The aircraft has a capacity to carry upto 15 tons of freight. The aircraft is based at Kolkata and flies to Guwahati, Agartala and Imphal.

Blue Dart Aviation Ltd.

An air freight company currently operating five converted Being 737-200's and two Boeing 757 freighters.

Above pic: Blue Dart Boeing 737 Freighter at Kolkata NSCB.

Crescent Air Cargo Services

Operates cargo flights within India, Colombo and Male with a single Fokker F-27 MK50 aircraft.

QuickJet Cargo

Deccan Air Cargo

Non-scheduled/Miscellaneous/Seaplane Operators
Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd.

Pawan Hans operates a fleet of 53 helicopters (46 are owned by the company) comprising of 18 Dauphin SA365N18, 17 Dauphin AS 365N3, 3 Bell 206L4, 3 Bell 407, 2 AS 350 B3 and 3 Mil Mi-172. Jal Hans is a seaplane service operating a Cessna 208A in the Andaman Islands. Revenues amounted to ₹ 5.3 billion in 2014-15.

Deccan Aviation Pvt. Ltd.

Offers helicopter charter services. Deccan Aviation's chopper fleet includes of 5 Bell 206, 1 Bell 212, 2 Bell 407, 2 Ecurueil AS 355, 1 Eurocopter AS355F2 helicopters and two fixed wing single turboprop Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. The company launched in 2003 India's first low-cost regional airline, Air Deccan (see Simplifly Deccan above)..

Kerala Seaplane  
Seabird Seaplane  
Oberoi Aviation

Operates one Hawker 125-700B executive jet and one King Air C-90A turbo-prop.

Mesco Airlines

Operates two Ecureil and one M-172 helicopter.

Elbee Airlines

Operates three Fokker F27-200's

Million Air

Million Air offers a fleet of three helicopters and one Cessna Citation aircraft for charter.

Trans Bharat Aviation

Operates 2 Beech 99, one Piper Seneca-IV aircraft, 2 Bell 206 and one Bell 407 helicopter

Taj Air

Fleet includes two Falcon 2000 jets.

UB Air

UB Air has a fleet of two Bell 212s and one Alouette helicopter.

Orient Flights

A Chennai based air charter service provider with a fleet of Piper Seneca III, Beechcraft King Air and Beechjet 400

United Helicharters Pvt. Ltd.

A Chennai based air charter service provider with a fleet of 4 Bell 212, 2 Bell 412 and 2 Sikorsky S76 helicopters.

Club One Air

Provides fractional aircraft ownership with a fleet five Cessna Citation Excel's and Citation CII's, three Eurocopter EC135's and one turboprop.

Himalayan Heli Services

Specializes in mountain flying with a chopper fleet of two Cheetah/SA 315B and one Chetak SA 316 B.

Deccan Express Logistics

India's newest freighter operator under the brand Deccan 360 plans to fly (wef May 27) 5xweekly on a route covering Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hong Kong and Dubai with Airbus A310F equipment. The company also plans to acquire smaller capacity ATR aricraft for domestic cargo operations.

¹ Provisional data