Skift Take

The Indian aviation sector is adding more airports across the country, and airlines are investing in upgrading and expanding their fleets. A consistent growth in domestic air passenger traffic is crucial to their return on investments, especially as international airlines are eyeing this growing consumer base.

The Skift India Newsletter is your go-to platform for all news related to travel, tourism, airlines, and hospitality in India.

Learn More

Budget airline IndiGo continued to hold the top position in the domestic aviation market with a 61.6% market share in May, up from 60.6% in April. Air India was a distant second at 13.7%, and Vistara followed with a 9.2% share, Directorate General of Civil Aviation data showed.

Vistara recorded the least amount of cancellations during the month at a 0.2% cancellation rate. Low-cost airline Akasa Air was the most punctual, delivering on-time performance about 86% of the time. 

Indian airlines carried nearly 13.8 million passengers in May, the highest monthly passenger traffic this year. With this, the total number of passengers served by domestic airlines between January and May this year was over 66.1 million,  

The airlines recorded an annual growth of about 4% in air passenger traffic for the January-May period this year. 

Skift Research examined Indigo’s rise to dominance in a report this month: “The Curious Case of Indigo Airlines, India’s Largest Airline.” Analyst Ashab Rizvi attributes the gains to Indigo’s execution of low-cost operations, focusing on operational efficiency, and building a robust network to meet the growing demand. But now Indigo is entering its next growth phase and Rizvi looks at its chances of success. 

Booming Aviation Sector: Indian airlines are expected to account for half of the country’s international traffic by fiscal 2027-2028, up from the current 43%. A shift in spending patterns and increasing inclination of Indians towards international leisure travel are expected to drive this growth. 

Domestic carriers such as IndiGo and Air India are expanding their networks, getting into codeshare agreements, and widening domestic connectivity. All of these factors are playing a positive role in boosting Indian airlines. 

There is also a surge in passenger traffic. According to data by credit ratings agency ICRA, the domestic air passenger traffic in India in May was 14% higher than pre-Covid levels. The agency estimated that in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, domestic air passenger traffic was 154 million, and it expects this trend to continue in the ongoing financial year. 

Why Goa Wants to Become Digital Nomad Hub

India’s smallest state – Goa – is trying to attract remote workers on the lines of digital nomad visas.

In an interview with Skift, the beach state’s tourism minister Rohan Khaunte said, “Digital nomads represent a high-spending segment that significantly boosts the local economy. We already host over 10,000 digital nomads from within India, and we aim to increase this number by creating the ideal environment for remote work.”

Goa is planning to roll out high-speed internet across its rural areas, and is also working to create coworking spaces along the beaches to attract this userbase.

Digital nomad visas are offered by more than 50 countries now, including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand in Asia. In order to compete with these markets, Goa is advocating the digital nomad visa from the Indian government.

According to Khaunte, promoting Goa as a digital nomad haven also means showcasing India. “Digital nomads typically don’t stay in one place for more than three months, so they’re likely to explore multiple destinations within the country,” he said.

India Was Washington, DC’s Second-Biggest Inbound Market in 2023

India was Washington, DC’s second-largest inbound market in 2023, according to data shared by Destination DC. Last year, over 165,000 Indians visited the city, accounting for over 8% of the total international footfall in Washington, DC. 

India also topped the overseas market for visitor spending in 2023. Indian tourists spent over $287 million in the city last year. 

According to Destination DC president and CEO Elliott L Ferguson, II, cited research as showing that Indians prefer arts, culture, luxury amenities, and shopping in Washington. 

Meghalaya to Invest $600 Million in Tourism Sector

The Northeast state of Meghalaya is planning to invest INR 50 billion (about $600 million) in the tourism sector over the next four years, chief minister Conrad Sangma has said. The state government is also expecting to create 50,000 jobs in the sector. 

The state is expecting its tourism industry to grow to INR 120 billion ($1.44 million) by 2028, a PTI report cited state tourism director Cyril VD Diengdoh as saying last November. Meghalaya is also expecting its annual tourist footfall to increase to 2 million by 2028.

Sarovar Hotels Opens Delite Sarovar Portico in Delhi-NCR

Indigenous hotel chain Sarovar Hotels and Resorts has announced the opening of Delite Sarovar Portico, Faridabad in the Delhi-NCR area. With the addition of the 74-key hotel, Sarovar’s portfolio of hotels in the national capital region stands at 14, including two operational hotels in Faridabad. 

Sarovar is one of the fastest growing hotel chains in the country. In an interview with Skift in May, managing director Ajay Bakaya said that in 2024, the company had already opened seven hotels till April, and was looking to open another 8 to 12 properties by the year-end. 

Sarovar expects to have 125 operational hotels in India by 2024-end, and plans to expand this number to 150 by the end of next year. The company is looking at a pipeline of 70 to 80 hotels currently.

IndiGo Launches Community Initiative for Football Fans

Budget airline IndiGo has launched a community initiative called ‘IndiGoal’ for football fans worldwide. IndiGo has been the official global airline partner for the Indian national football team since last year. 

As a part of this new initiative, the airline said that it aims to create a community that allows sports and travel enthusiasts to engage with “inspiring and thrilling content”, and get updates on Indian football. 

Sports tourism is on the rise in India with online travel companies witnessing a surge in the segment. This is leading to players in the Indian travel and hotel industry to add sports to their offerings. Hotel aggregator Oyo also recently launched a cricket-themed hotel in Bengaluru – CricOtel – to cater to the cricket fans in the country. 

feed

Skift India Report

India is booming. Discover the subcontinent’s most important travel news here every Tuesday-Thursday.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: air india, air traffic, airline passengers, airlines, akasa air, aviation industry, coronavirus recovery, digital nomads, domestic leisure travel, domestic tourism, domestic travel, goa tourism, hotels, india, india outbound, india travel, indian airlines, indigo, investments, sarovar hotels, skift india report, tourism, Travel Trends, vistara

Photo credit: The airlines recorded an annual growth of about 4% in air passenger traffic for the January-May period this year.  Stela Di / Pixabay

Up Next

Loading next stories