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India Becomes World's 3rd Largest Domestic Airline Market

Image credit: Rishabh Mathur

India is currently the third-largest domestic airline market in the world, having risen from fifth place a decade ago.  


This substantial growth can be attributed to the country’s strong aviation sector, which has seen a surge in demand, improved infrastructure, and increased competition among airlines, expanding the domestic airline market. 


With over 8 million seats, India was an undersized market ten years ago. The US and China held the top two spots, with Brazil and Indonesia coming in third and fourth, respectively. Today, the two biggest local aviation markets are still the US and China. 


According to global aviation data provider OAG, "India is surpassing the Brazilian and Indonesian domestic markets to become the third-largest domestic market with airline capacity of 15.6 million seats in April 2024.”  

India’s capacity growth rate of seats over a 10-year average is the highest, at 6.9 percent annually. 


“India is the fastest growing market across all five domestic markets we considered. China was close behind with annual growth of 6.3 per cent between 2014 and 2024, and there is a much smaller growth rate in the US and Indonesia,” the OAG report states. 


Another intriguing metric to consider across these large domestic markets is low-cost carrier (LCC) capacity share. 


In April 2024, low-cost carriers (LCCs) held a staggering 78.4 per cent share of India's domestic airline capacity, the highest among the five major domestic markets. 


“In the last 10 years, IndiGo has almost doubled their market share, from 32 per cent of capacity in 2014 to 62 per cent today. While the rest of the market has barely grown, averaging just 0.7 per cent a year, IndiGo has a domestic capacity growth rate of 13.9 per cent annually,” the report mentioned. 


Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, India's aviation industry has experienced strong growth, setting the stage for its future development over the next 25 years.  


On the 19th of November last year, airlines in India flew 4,56,910 domestic passengers. This was the highest single-day air traffic since the pandemic hit, marking a notable 7.4 percent surge above pre-COVID averages, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry’s data. 


Brookfield Aviation believes that this vast expansion not only improves connectivity but also reflects India's commitment to enhancing its aviation infrastructure. 


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