India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets globally and home to many expanding airlines. Low-cost carriers tend to dominate the Indian market, placing sizeable orders for planes from Airbus and Boeing in the process. But which carrier has the largest fleet? Let’s find out.
This list will go in reverse order, starting from the fourth-largest to the largest airline currently operating in India. The fleet size is based on aircraft currently owned or leased by the airline, with fleet data provided by Planespotters.net and market share from Mint.
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GoAir, a low-cost carrier, operates a fleet of all Airbus A320s. This narrowbody fleet consists of 56 aircraft, with 46 of the newer A320neo and the remaining being older A320ceos. GoAir operates flights to dozens of domestic cities and a growing number of international destinations as well.
GoAir placed an order for 72 A320neos back in 2016 and later doubled that order. The airline has slowly been taking delivery of its 144 aircraft, with 16 planes still left on its first order. The entry of the new planes will see the retirement of the A320ceo fleet in the coming year, most of which have been parked due to the current downturn. As of October 2020, GoAir has a domestic market share of 7.5%
SpiceJet operates a fleet of all-Boeing 737 jets, the only one in India. The airline has 101 aircraft in its fleet, with 69 737s (consisting of -800 and MAX 8) and 32 De Havilland Canada Dash 8s. SpiceJet operates flights to over 60 destinations, with 10 international destinations and over 50 domestic ones.
SpiceJet currently has an order for 205 737 MAX aircraft, with deliveries for the type starting in September 2018. The carrier has also recently wet-leased A330neos and A340s from Portuguese lessor Hi Fly for long-haul flights. SpiceJet is the second-biggest carrier in India by domestic market share, with a share of 13.4% as of October 2020.
2. Air India
Flag carrier Air India comes in second place in terms of fleet size. The airline operates a mixed fleet of 126 aircraft, mainly consisting of 77 Airbus A320 family planes and 45 Boeing 777s and 787s. Air India flies to over 100 destinations, with 45 international and 58 domestic routes, the largest of any Indian airline.
Air India currently does not have any outstanding orders, wrapping up all deliveries in the last few years. The carrier is the biggest operator of widebody planes in India and is only one of two airlines flying the larger planes. As of October 2020, Air India has a domestic market share of 9.4%, but a much larger international share.
India’s biggest carrier, by fleet size and market share, is low-cost airline IndiGo. The carrier operates an all-Airbus fleet of 252 aircraft, far ahead of any other airline, consisting of 227 A320/A321s and 25 ATR 72s. IndiGo flies to 87 destinations, with 24 international routes and 63 domestic ones.
The low-cost carrier has no plans to lose its title soon either, with orders for nearly 700 more planes in the next decade. IndiGo is Airbus’ biggest customer and has plans to induct the new A321XLR, along with more A320neos in the coming years. As of October 2020, IndiGo has a domestic market share of over 55%, the largest of any carrier.
India remains a quickly expanding market, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see new airlines enter this list soon!