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India is set to Soar

India's aviation industry is on a massive growth trajectory and is one of the five fastest-growing aviation markets in the world.

A new era of expansion is occurring in Indian aviation history. All areas of the market are growing – including passenger numbers, airlines, airports, foreign direct investment, and technology.


In 2016 India is the world’s ninth largest aviation market, worth $16 billion.


By 2020 it wants to be the third largest.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts India’s passenger numbers will hit 278 million by 2026.


By 2030 India hopes to be the world’s largest aviation market.


By 2035 IATA estimates India will have 442 million passengers flying.

The sky really is the limit for the nation's booming aviation industry


For now air transportation is still out of the financial reach for many Indians. But with nearly 40% of the population considered the upwardly mobile middle class, and wealth growing every day, there are greater opportunities for growth than ever.

More than 85 million people in India caught domestic flights in the past year 2015-2016.

Passenger numbers are growing at more than 20% a year.

168,400 planes flew in and out of Indian airports in July 2016 - 32,830 of them were international flights – up more than 8% YOY.

The Rise of Low-cost Carriers

For many who do travel, value for money is key which has lead to a rise of budget airlines across the country.

IndiGo is the country’s largest low cost carrier, with almost 40% of the passenger market share. The airline travels to 41 destinations. It’s headquartered in Guragon, with Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport its primary hub.

GoAir is another popular low cost airline, as are Air India Express, and AirAsia India - a joint venture between Malaysia’s AirAsia and India’s Tata Group.

Full Service Carriers

This sector is also experiencing record growth. Mumbai based Jet Airways is now the country’s second largest airline, with 19.3% (Jet Airways + Jet Lite) of market share. After recently merging with UAE’s Etihad Airways, it’s focused on developing its international network, with an increase in services between UAE and India from early 2017.

Other big players include the flagship state-run carrier Air India (15% market share), and Vistara, a joint venture set up in 2015 the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines. Vistara is eyeing the long haul international market.

To cater to growing demand, jet airways and indigo are each recruiting more than 1,000 cabin crew over the next year whilst air india is planning to gain 800 new cabin crew on board.

India's Major Airports

All these extra passengers need airports to fly in and out of. So by 2020 India plans to increase the number of airports in operation to 250.

It’s believed this will open up greenfield investment opportunities worth USD 3 billion at Navi Mumbai and Mopa in Goa. In the country’s north-east Guwahati, Agartala, Imphal and Dibrugarh are all being promoted as intra-regional hubs.

Airfreight is also increasing, as is demand is for maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities.

Within the next five years 300 business jets, 300 small aircraft and 25 helicopters are expected to be added to the current fleet of indian carriers.


  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Bengaluru
  • Chennai
  • Kolkata
  • Hyderabad

Defense Development

The Indian Aerospace Industry is witnessing unprecedented growth as well. The government owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is now ranked 34th in the list of the world’s top defense companies. It’s overhauling fighters, trainers, helicopters, transport aircraft, engines, avionics, and system equipment.

But while India’s aerospace defense industry is becoming more self-reliant, it’s also ripe for foreign investment. The long running relationship between HAL and Arizona headquartered Honeywell Aerospace is an example of the benefits such tie-ups can bring. And with the Indian government making it easier for foreign companies to do business in India, hopes are high the similar partnerships will flourish in the future.

The Indian Aerospace industry is witnessing unprecedented growth.