India Air Travel
A Quick and Cheap Way of Getting Around
India air travel is a rapidly growing industry, and a number of domestic airlines (listed below) provide travellers with the opportunity to shave hours of their journey time for very affordable prices.
India air travel is becoming an increasingly popular option for Indian travellers and foreign tourists as prices drop and the list of destinations becomes comprehensive.
It is often possible to book flights from the airport on your day of travel, but the cheapest and most certain way of securing a flight is to book ahead online.
A few things to remember:
Liquids must be kept in small transparent containers.
Lighters and knives will be confiscated if kept in hand baggage.
Padlocks will help secure your luggage.
Food and drink in airports can be extortionately priced, so it is worth buying a few snacks before arrival, though you will not usually be allowed to take these through customs.
The major players in domestic India air travel are listed below.
In 1929 the man considered to be father of Indian civil avaition, Jehangir Tata, acquired the first pilot license to be issued in India. In 1932 he was flying mail between Karachi and Mumbai under the name Tata Airlines. The airline was renamed Air India in 1946 after becoming a commercial service and then in 1953 the Indian Government bought a majority percentage, and international flights commenced.
Air India dominated the domestic sky until 1991 when a policy change made by the Indian Government meant that India air travel could be provided by private companies. Air India, however, remains at the top of its game flying to 33 domestic locations and 23 countries across the world.
|Operating more than 400 flights per day, Kingfisher Airlines is India's secong largest air carrier after Air India. It is one of only six airlines in the world to have a five-star rating from Skytrax, and perks include entertainment on every seat and welcome gifts for all passengers, even on domestic flights.|
Kingfisher Airlines operates internationally as well as domestically and its destinations include Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore and London.
Another major player in India air travel, Jet Airways operates flights to 65 worldwide destinations. It is based in Mumbai with close links to Delhi, Chennai and Brussels.
The airline has won awards for catering, and its long-haul flights were ranked by Which? magazine as second best in the world after Singapore Airlines. Jet Airways also operates JetLite and Jet Airways Konnect as low-cost domestic services.
|Spice Jet is one of India's largest low-cost domestic carriers and flies to 18 destinations with its main base being in Delhi. Spice Jet's destinations include Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Goa, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Varanasi and Jaipur.|
The airline aims to be India's largest domestic carrier and therefore its prices are often very competitive. Spice Jet was voted best low fare airline in India air travel for two years in a row by the Outlook Traveller Annual Reader Survey.
GoAir is a low-cost airline that flies from Mumbai to 11 destinations in India. Its most popular route is to Vasco Da Gama, Goa, and it is a great option for travellers arriving in Mumbai and travelling on to the holiday destination of
with travel time being just 50 minutes. Other destinations include Delhi, Bangalore, Cochin and Jaipur.
It is a no-frills airline but snacks and drinks can be bought on board.
|Previously Air Deccan, this low-cost domestic airline is run by Kinfisher Airlines. Currently it is the only low-cost carrier to offer free snacks and drinks to its customers.|
As Air Deccan, the aim of its founder, G.R. Gopinath, was to enable "every Indian to fly at least once in his orher lifetime." Despite takeover by Kingfisher Airlines, it prices have remained very affordable.
IndiGo Airline's base is in New Delhi, and it flies to 17 destinations in India. A popular route with foreign tourists is between Mumbai and Goa.
Flights on this airline inclde destinations such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Chennai, Lucknow and Kolkata. It was given the 2008 title of ‘Best Domestic Low Cost Carrier’ in India.
|Jet Airway's answer to cheap air travel in India, Jet Lite was formerly Air Sahara before its takeover in 2007.|
JetLite provides flights to major Indian mainland destinations as well as services to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kathmandu in Nepal and Columbo in Sri Lanka. The airline also provides helicopters for aerial photography and charter services.
Food and drinks can be purchased on board.
Started in 2007, MDLR is a small domesic carrier that is based in New Delhi. It currently flies to 7 Indian destinations including Goa and Kullu. Its has a vegetarian menu available to customers.
|Based in Chennai this airline flies to 16 destinations, with an emphasis on business air travel in India. It offers a business class service at prices comparable to the economy class service of other domestic competitors.|
A small domestic carrier that offers flights to destinations such as Shimla, Dharamsala, Kullu, New Delhi and Mumbai. It also provides fligts to Bhutan and Nepal.
Jagson Airlines' fleet is 5 strong, with craft including 2 Mil Mi-172 Helicopters, capable of carrying 24 economy passengers. Its meals are selected from the Taj Hotels Group's menu.
Pawan Hans Helicopter Limited
For alternative ways to explore the counrty have a look at our travel by Royal Enfield section or our India travel tips.
|This fleet of 36 helicopters provides support services to the Oil Sector, as well as flights for promoting tourism. The craft are also used for casualty and rescue work, film shooting and aerial photography, VIP transportation and flower dropping.|
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