With Capacity Doubling in 10 Years, India Emerges as 3rd Largest Domestic Airline Market

Domestic Airline
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IndiGo has been the driving force behind the growth of India’s low-cost carrier (LCC) sector, significantly increasing its market share from 32% to 62% over the past decade. This surge has propelled India to become the world’s third-largest domestic airline market, up from fifth place ten years ago, as per analysis using OAG data.

India’s domestic airline capacity has doubled over the last decade, rising from 7.9 million seats in April 2014 to 15.5 million seats in April 2024. This growth has allowed India to surpass Brazil and Indonesia, now ranked fourth and fifth respectively in domestic capacity.

In global rankings, the United States and China continue to lead with 86.1 million and 67.8 million seats respectively. India boasts the highest average annual growth rate in seat capacity among the top five countries, at 6.9%, followed by China at 6.3%, the US at 2.4%, Indonesia at 1.1%, and Brazil experiencing a decline of 0.8% annually.

The transition to LCCs in India has been the most pronounced compared to other major markets, with LCCs accounting for 78.4% of domestic capacity as of April 2024. This trend is notably driven by IndiGo’s substantial expansion, which has outpaced the market with a remarkable annual domestic capacity growth rate of 13.9%.

Looking ahead, both IndiGo and Air India are poised to aggressively expand their international operations, supported by significant orders of narrow-bodied aircraft. IndiGo has ordered 982 planes, predominantly narrow-bodied (96%), while Air India’s order for 447 aircraft also sees a significant focus on narrow-bodied types (74%).

This strategic aircraft procurement underscores the intent to bolster domestic operations alongside international ambitions, reflecting a dynamic shift in India’s aviation landscape towards increased connectivity and market dominance.

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