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Domestic flights in India has been growing rapidly. Growing wealth base of India's population has resulted in ever increasing number of domestic passengers on Internal flights in India. Supply of private airlines providing domestic flights within India has increased manifolds after the regulations have been eased. Domestic passengers can now avail discounted fare options and have a choice of either full service airline or a low cost carrier.

India’s domestic airlines offer 8,600 more flights and 1.7 million more seats year on year. The Indian domestic are growing without any signs of slowing down. There was 25 percent increase in the number of domestic flights in India scheduled for May 2007 compared with the same month last year.

India’s domestic market is experiencing an unprecedented growth, attributed to the increased operations offered by several low cost carriers as a result, nearly one in two flights within India is now operated by a low cost carrier.

This is even more impressive considering that the low cost phenomenon has just started in the Indian market. It has already far outstripped the ratio in the UK and US, two of the most established low cost markets. This has resulted in other foreign carriers like Virgin group eyeing to cash on it.

Main Carriers: Air India

Air India is India’s oldest carrier. Air India is one of the two state owned airlines operating flights through 95 destinations around the world. Headquartered in Mumbai, the airline has bases in New Delhi and Chennai. Ensuring impeccable service, guaranteeing complete comfort and luxury, Air India endeavours to makes air travel a leisure jaunt. Offering cheap ticket air travel, the online booking service makes it extremely convenient to avail the best deals and discounts on air tickets. Air India mainly operates international flights, with its domestic flights being connecting flights as part of its international services. It serves 11 domestic cities and holds just over 5% of the domestic market. These flights mostly operate between 10 pm and 6 am and link Mumbai with major cities, such as Delhi, Chennai, Cochin, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Passengers are offered attractive fares to compensate for the non convinient flight timings. To protect its market from gulf airlines, Air India set up a low cost subsidiary, Air India Express, in April 2005 to compete more effectively with Emirates, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Etihad Airways on routes to/from the Gulf region.

Indian Airlines

The Government of India created Indian Airlines in 1953. The airline was to be solely responsible for all domestic flights in India, while Air India was to be the designated carrier for all international flights. Indian Airlines had monopoly over internal flight in India until goverment allowed private airlines in 1980s.

Indian Airlines flies to 32 destinations with its fleet of 47 aircraft. In recent years, Indian Airlines has been paying increasing attention to its international operations. The airline was allowed in the early 1990s to be the second designated carrier on many routes to South East Asia and the Middle East.

Jet Airways

Jet Airways is based in Mumbai, and offers over 370 daily flights across 44 domestic destinations. Jet Airways also operates numerous international flights to destinations like the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Thailand, and Nepal. Jet Airways became the first Indian carrier to offer internet check-in facilities for its passengers.

Jet Airways offers youth discount (25%) for those under 29 years of age, and Senior Citizen discounts for those 65 years and older. To get the discount rates for domestic flights in India, the airline requires you to fax over credit card as well as pass port ID details.

Kingfisher Air

Kingfisher Airlines is owned by the India's biggest liquor baron, Mr Vijay Mallya. Kingfisher Airlines is one of the finest luxury airlines of India. Kingfisher Airlines, India's fastest growing airline started operations on 9th may 2005 with just four daily flights, following the lease of 4 Airbus 320 aircraft. Kingfisher currently offers 153 flights daily connecting 30 Indian destinations. Kingfisher presently have a market share of 11.8% and has recieved numourous accolades for its high quality service. Kingfisher Airlines offers many exclusive services to its passengers that include personal valet at the airport to assist in baggage handling and boarding, personal and exclusive lounges with private space, refreshments and music at the airport, audio and video on-demand accompanied with extra-wide personalized screens in the aircraft, comfortable Sleeperette seats and a delicious three-course gourmet meal. Providing cheap and discounted tickets, Kingfisher Airlines promises a smooth and stress free air journey, which is truly world class in every sense.

Paramount Airlines - Paramount Airlines’ primary focus is on the business traveler, and flies between Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. Some of its Indian domestic flight destinations include Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi (Cochin), Hyderabad and Madurai.

It is based in Madurai India, with its primary hub located in Chennai International Airport. The airline started operating in October 2005. Click here for a schedule of Paramount Airways flights.

There is no differentiation in fares for domestic flights in India between NRI, tourists, and residents for Paramount Airlines. The airline also offers a booking facility through its Online Paramount Booking site.

Spicejet

SpiceJet was voted the best low-cost carrier in Central Asia by SkyTrax in 2007. It is based in New Delhi, with its main hub in Mumbai and an additional hub in Ahmedabad. SpiceJet also offers service to Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Varanasi.

SpiceJet offers online booking services, and has no differentiation in fares between NRI, tourists, and locals. Check-in baggage rules for domestic flights in India: 20kg. Indus Air (out of business)

Deccan

Deccan, formerly known as Air Deccan, is India’s first low cost airline carrier. It was founded in August 2003, " with the vision to empower every Indian to fly by providing the lowest airfares and connectivity to unconnected towns and cities". Deccan is based in Bangalore, with another hub in Chennai.

Deccan does not differentiate in fares between NRI, tourists, and locals for Indian domestic flights. Check-in baggage rules for domestic India flights (per person): 15 kg (Rs 70/kg for excess check-in luggage)

JetLite (formerly Air Sahara)

After becoming a part of Jet Airways, Air Sahara was renamed Jet Lite and became operational in April 2007. A fleet of 20 aircrafts operating under Jet Lite connects 32 destinations across the country. About 141 daily flights connect cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Allahabad, Chennai, Goa, Mumbai, Ranchi, Indore and many others. Kathmandu and Colombo are the two overseas destinations connected by Jet Lite.

JetLite covers domestic flights all over India, as well as travel between Delhi and Chicago through a code share with American Airlines. Check-in baggage for domestic flights in India (per person): 20 kg.

GoAir

This domestic airline, based in Mumbai, is owned by the Wadia Group of Bombay Dyeing fame. Established in November 2005, today GoAir has to its credit a fleet of 4 Airbus A 320-200.

GoAir does not differentiate in fares between NRI, tourists, and residents, and flies between Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Coimbatore ad Goa. GoAir offers 10,000 Free Tickets Per Month. Check-in baggage rules for domestic India flights: 15 kg (Rs 70/kg for excess check-in luggage)

Indigo Air

Indigo Air began its flight operations for domestic Indian flights in August 2006, and currently links Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Pune, Udaipur, and Vadodara. This low cost Indian flight carrier’s main hub is in Delhi.

Indigo Air does not differentiate between NRI, tourist, and local fares for domestic Indian flight tickets.

Jagson Airline

The first private airline to avail the benefit of Open Sky policy of Government of India, it commenced its operation in 1992. It is based primarily in Delhi. Jagson Airlines currently operates Delhi-Kullu and Delhi-Shimla routes, as well as Shirdi-Mumbai and Shirdi-Pune flights. Jagson airlines has offices in Mumbai, Shirdi, Manali, Kullu, Shimla, with good connects for the Delhi-Rajasthan sector

Jagson airlines does offer internet booking facilities for domestic Indian flight tickets through their online booking site.

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