Airlines in India: List of mainline, regional and cargo airline companies operating in India in 2023

Curious about the airlines in India in 2023? This article will discuss the airlines within India, with mainline and regional carriers!

Published: Sep 6, 2023 04:45:28 PM IST
Updated: Sep 6, 2023 04:52:42 PM IST

Airlines in India: List of mainline, regional and cargo airline companies operating in India in 2023

India's aviation sector has been soaring to new heights this decade, with remarkable growth and innovation shaping the industry's landscape. Already, India has firmly established itself as the world's third-largest market for domestic airlines, emphasising the pivotal role played by domestic airlines in India in the aviation landscape. In this article, we explore the airlines in India in its mainline, regional, and cargo sectors. 

Airlines in India: Domestic and International

Speaking of the airlines within India, here is our comprehensive airline list in India. We will be mentioning the types of their service, the number of destinations they serve, their fleet size, and their IATA (International Air Transport Association) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) codes, as sourced from Wikipedia. 

Mainline airlines in India: Number of destinations

Airline Type Destinations No.
IndiGo Low Cost 107
Air India Full Service 83
Vistara Full Service 50
SpiceJet Low Cost 56
Go First Low Cost 36
AIX Connect - 19
Air India Express Low Cost 34
Akasa Air Low Cost 16
Jet Airways - -


Mainline airlines in India: Fleet size and IATA and ICAO codes

Airline Fleet Size IATA ICAO
IndiGo 315 6E IGO
Air India 121 AI AIC
Vistara 60 UK VTI
SpiceJet 55 SG SEJ
Go First 54 G8 GOW
AIX Connect 28 I5 SEJ
Air India Express 26 IX AXB
Akasa Air 20 QP AKJ
Jet Airways - 9W (Previous) JAI (Previous)

Regional/Commuter airlines in India: Fleet size

Airline Hubs Fleet Size
Alliance Air Delhi 21
Star Air Bengaluru 7
FlyBig Guwahati 3
IndiaOne Air Bhubaneswar 2


Regional/Commuter airlines in India:  IATA and ICAO codes

Airline IATA ICAO
Alliance Air 9I LLR
Star Air S5 SDG
FlyBig S9 FLG
IndiaOne Air I7 IOA

Cargo airlines in India: Fleet size

Airline Hubs Fleet Size
Blue Dart Aviation Chennai 8
Pradhaan Air Express Delhi 1
Quikjet Airlines Bengaluru 2
SpiceXpress Delhi 3
IndiGo CarGo Delhi 2


Cargo airlines in India:  IATA and ICAO codes

Airline IATA ICAO
Blue Dart Aviation BZ BDA
Pradhaan Air Express 6P PRX
Quikjet Airlines QO FQA
SpiceXpress SG SEJ
IndiGo CarGo 6E IGO


Top 10 Airlines in India by Fleet Size in 2023: A Deeper Insight


Now, it’s time for a deep dive into the airlines in India. If we go by fleet size, here are the top 10 airlines within India:

Note: Call signs are necessary to identify an aircraft during airband radio transmissions.

IndiGo

  • Founding year: 2006
  • Owned by: InterGlobe Aviation Ltd
  • Call Sign: IFLY
IndiGo is headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, and was founded in 2006 by Rahul Bhatia of InterGlobe Enterprises and Rakesh Gangwal from the United States. It took its maiden flight in July 2006 and officially launched in 2016. By 2012, IndiGo became India's largest carrier by passenger market share. In 2023, IndiGo flies 56.2 percent of India’s passengers.

Also Read: Can anything stop IndiGo?

IndiGo is looking to expand its global network with two fresh international routes. From September 22, 2023, the airline will initiate four weekly non-stop flights connecting Delhi and Tashkent. Simultaneously, from September 23, it will commence flights between Delhi and Almaty, strengthening its international offerings.

Air India

  • Founding year: 1932
  • Owned by: Air India Limited (Tata Group)
  • Call Sign: AIRINDIA
Air India is based in New Delhi. In 1932, JRD Tata set the foundation for Air India as Tata Airlines, which later evolved into Air India after WWII. In 2023, Air India flies 25.1 percent of Indian passengers.

The airline joined Star Alliance in 2014, further cementing its global reach. It was repurchased in January 2022 by the Tata conglomerate, already running Vistara and AirAsia India. In November 2022, Air India also announced a merger with Vistara and AirAsia India.

Also Read: How Air India's million little steps are taking it on a journey to find lost glory

Recently, Air India declared plans to unveil a vibrant livery, a distinctive custom font, and a new logo. Chakras inspire the proposed tail fin design. The comprehensive revamp plans to acquire 470 new planes from Airbus and Boeing.

Vistara

  • Founding year: 2013
  • Owned by: TATA SIA Airlines Limited
  • Call Sign: VISTARA
Vistara set its course from Gurgaon and marked its inaugural flight between Delhi and Mumbai on January 9, 2015. As of October 31, 2019, Vistara operated 34 destinations, including four international ones, using Airbus A320, A320 neo, Boeing 787-9, and Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. 

One of the relatively new airlines in India, Vistara has already accomplished a remarkable feat, clinching the title of 'Best Airline in India and South Asia' for the third consecutive year. Furthermore, the airline has been honoured with the 16th position globally at Skytrax's prestigious 2023 World Airline Awards.

SpiceJet

  • Founding year: 2004
  • Owned by: Sun Group
  • Call Sign: SPICEJET
Based in Gurgaon, SpiceJet is one of the most well-known airlines in India. Launched in 1994 as ModiLuft, it was rebranded by entrepreneur Ajay Singh in 2004. With 630 daily flights to 64 destinations, it operates Boeing 737 and Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft.

Also Read: Once the turnaround man, Ajay Singh may now need an external hand—and capital—to pull SpiceJet out of turbulence

Aircraft lessors Aircastle of Ireland and Wilmington Trust have recently filed insolvency suits against SpiceJet. In turn, SpiceJet has questioned the maintainability of the insolvency plea from Wilmington Trust, mainly since the company was only a trustee and not an operational creditor of SpiceJet. The lawsuit is yet to see its resolution.

Go First

  • Founding year: 2005
  • Owned by: Sevakunj Investments and Trading Co. Pvt Ltd, Wadia Group
  • Call Sign: GOAIR
GoFirst Airlines is renowned for its passenger, charter, and air cargo services. With hubs at Bengaluru, Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, Mumbai, Kannur, and Kolkata, GoFirst covers many destinations. Notably, GoFirst has earned accolades like Skytrax's "Best Airline Award" in 2010.

On May 3, 2023, Go First ceased operations and is currently undergoing a procedure for insolvency resolution. In recent developments, IATA has blocked its designator code G8 for the next twelve months due to its inoperative state.

AIX Connect

  • Founding year: 2013
  • Owned by: Air India Limited (Tata Group)
  • Call Sign: RED KNIGHT
AirAsia India, now AIX Connect, is under Tata Group's ownership and set for changes in 2023. With a merger plan with Air India Express Ltd., CEO Aloke Singh aims to build a robust organisation by leveraging both airlines' strengths. The integration will simplify passenger travel, and AIX Connect's share capital will increase, aiding expanded flight operations. Tata Group's involvement and strategic moves are expected to reshape India's aviation landscape.

Air India Express

  • Founding year: 2005
  • Owned by: Tata Group, Tata Sons
  • Call Sign: EXPRESS INDIA
Based in Kochi, Kerala, this airline operates under Air India Express Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national carrier, Air India. The airline connects 33 Middle East and Southeast Asia cities, with approximately 649 weekly flights serving around 4.3 million passengers annually.

Akasa Air

  • Founding year: 2021
  • Owned by: SNV Aviation Private Limited
  • Call Sign: AKASA AIR
Akasa Air, one of the growing domestic airlines in India, starting with a couple of Boeing 737 MAX planes and limited routes, has achieved impressive growth in just a couple of years, connecting major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, as well as tier 2 and 3 destinations. With over 900 weekly flights across 16 destinations and 35 unique routes, Akasa has transported more than 4.3 million passengers. The airline's flexibility in handling challenges, including supply chain issues, and its swift fleet expansion are remarkable, considering its position as one of the new airlines in India. 

Also Read: Akasa Air is on an unprecedented flight plan. Can it really redefine flying in India?

Alliance Air

  • Founding year: 1996
  • Owned by: The Government of India
  • Call Sign: ALLIED
Alliance Air, a regional airline and subsidiary of Air India previously, commenced its journey in 1996. Operating under the government's UDAN Scheme, it is one of the prominent domestic airlines in India. It has hubs in major Indian cities, including Bengaluru, Delhi, and Kolkata. The fleet comprises 18 ATR 72-600 and two ATR 42-320 aircraft.

Star Air

  • Founding year: 2019
  • Owned by: Sanjay Ghodawat Group
  • Call Sign: HISTAR
Standing out among the domestic airlines in India and yet another of the new airlines in India, Star Air elegantly embarked on its journey from Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport. Guided by the UDAN scheme, it strategically linked Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat. The airline operates two Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft with 50 seats each. Star Air won "Best Domestic Airline" at Wings India in 2022.

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