India Ranks Third in Global Domestic Airline Market
India Ranks Third in Global Domestic Airline Market

New Delhi: India has witnessed remarkable growth in its aviation sector over the past decade, ascending from the fifth position to become the third-largest domestic airline market worldwide. A decade ago, India held the smallest market share with approximately 8 million seats, trailing behind Brazil and Indonesia, while the US and China dominated the top spots.

Today, although the US and China retain their positions as the largest domestic aviation markets, India has surged ahead to claim the third spot, boasting an airline capacity of 15.6 million seats as of April 2024, according to data from OAG. India's growth rate in seat capacity over the past decade has been the highest globally, averaging 6.9 percent annually. This growth trajectory surpasses that of China, which closely follows with an annual growth rate of 6.3 percent between 2014 and 2024.

A significant aspect of India's aviation landscape is the dominance of low-cost carriers (LCCs), which accounted for 78.4 percent of domestic airline capacity in April 2024, the highest among the five major domestic markets analyzed. IndiGo, in particular, has witnessed substantial growth, nearly doubling its market share from 32 percent in 2014 to 62 percent in 2024. This growth contrasts with the modest expansion seen in the rest of the market, averaging just 0.7 percent annually, while IndiGo maintains an impressive domestic capacity growth rate of 13.9 percent annually.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, India has experienced robust growth in its aviation sector, setting the stage for further development over the next quarter-century. Notably, on November 19 last year, India witnessed its highest single-day air traffic since the onset of the pandemic, with airlines flying 456,910 domestic passengers, marking a notable 7.4 percent increase above pre-Covid averages, as per data from the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The government has also significantly expanded the country's airport infrastructure, with the number of airports increasing from 74 to 157 over the past decade. Additionally, the Digi Yatra initiative has seen widespread adoption, with over 91 lakh passengers benefiting from the facility and over 35 lakh users downloading the app in 2023.

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