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Domestic Airlines

Domestic Airlines in India

India's booming economy, and the deregulation of the aviation industry, has brought about a huge increase in the number of domestic airlines in India in recent years. Passengers can now choose fromone government owned full service airline, three privately owned full service airlines, and five privately owned low cost carriers.

To help you make the right decision when flying, here's an overview of what you can expect from each of India's domestic airlines. All of these airlines offer flights from New Delhi (Airport code: DEL) & other major cities to Chandigarh.

You can learn more about the New Delhi Airport on this page also.

Indian Airlines is India's government owned, full service domestic airline, based in Mumbai. The airline was merged with Air India, the government owned international airline, in 2007 but still retains its name. Its market share has dropped significantly, to around 14%, in recent years.

As is to be expected with a state-run airline, Indian Airlines has its share of inefficiencies. Flights are often delayed, flight attendants and in-flight service leave a lot to be desired, and the airline has been involved in as many as 12 fatal accidents in its history. On the positive side, it has well planned routes and flight schedules, flies to most destinations in India, and is surprisingly reliable when it comes to baggage handling.

tel# 3310517/ 3295121. Safdarjung Airport, tel # 011-4624332. Indira Gandhi airport tel # 011-5665121, 5696535, 140. Tele-check-in for passengers in Delhi phone: 011-5665166. Visit Their Website

Jet Airways is widely regarded as India's biggest and best airline. It's a privately owned, full service airline that commenced operating in mid 1993. It's now captured almost 23% of the market, and has bases in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore.

Jet Airways has won many awards for quality service. In particular, the airline is known for its outstanding in-flight service, food, punctuality, and baggage handling. Staff are extremely efficient and courteous, and will go out of their way to ensure that you're comfortable and well looked after.

Jet Airways operates on a code share basis with Kingfisher Airlines. Telephone: 011-3724724, 3724725, 3724726, 3724727, 3724728, 3724729, 3724730, 3355895, 3321292. Indira Gandhi airport, tel # 011-3295404. Visit Their Website

Kingfisher Airlines is another highly regarded full service airline. The airline, which has the same "King of Good Times" owner as India's Kingfisher beer, started operating in mid 2005 and has a 15% market share. Its headquarters are in Bangalore, with bases in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Delhi. In total, the airline covers almost 40 destinations across India. The average age of its fleet is less than two years.

Kingfisher's larger than life owner has given the airline many personal touches. Passengers are treated as guests, seating is spacious and comfortable, and the airline puts significant effort into recruiting charming and attractive staff. It also leads the way in regard to in-flight entertainment on domestic flights in India.

Toll Free Number: 1 800 209 3030, 1 800 180 0101, 1 800 425 7008 Visit Their Website

Indigo Airlines is based in Delhi and flies to around 15 destinations all over India. This privately owned airline started operating in mid 2006, and has a market share of almost 11%. It's considered to be India's best low cost carrier.

Its airplanes are new and clean, and despite keeping fares low, the airline hasn't compromised on punctuality, connectivity of flights, safety, or customer service. Of course, don't expect any frills, but you can check in the usual 20 kilograms of baggage and the amount of leg room is decent. If you're looking to fly with a low cost airline, IndiGo offers good value for money.

Reservations: 1 800 180 3838, 0 9910 383838 Visit Their Website

SpiceJet is another decent, privately owned, low cost carrier. The airline, which is based in Delhi, started operating in mid 2005. It has just over 10% share of the market, and services most capital cities in India.

The main problem that passengers have with this airline is the seats -- they're not particularly comfortable and a little more leg room would really help. Less than pleasant experiences at the check in counter also seem common. However, Spice Jet is a reliable and a respectable alternative to some of the other low cost airlines. Definitely give it a try if you're on a budget!

Reservations: 1 800 180 3333 Visit Their Website

Kingfisher Red, originally called Air Deccan, is a privately owned low cost airline based in Bangalore. It started operating in mid 2003 and was India's first low cost carrier. Kingfisher Airlines took over the airline, which has captured just under 15% of the market, in early 2008. The average age of its airplanes is four and a half years.

Kingfisher Red has improved a lot since its merger with Kingfisher Airlines. It now accepts international credit cards for bookings, seat numbers are allocated, and staff are more committed and friendly. However, there's not much leg room, flights are still often delayed, and the 15 kilogram limit for checked in baggage remains.

Toll Free Number: 1 800 209 3030, 1 800 180 0101, 1 800 425 7008 Visit Their Website

Country Code: 91 Telephone: (0)11 565 2011 or 565 2021 (Terminal 2) or (0)11 329 6535 (Terminal 1)
Fax: (0)11 2565 2030 (Terminal 2) or (0)11 2567 5494 (Terminal 1) E-mail: Website:

Location: The airport is located 23km (14 miles) south of New Delhi Time Zone: GMT + 5.5 Number of Terminals: 2

Transfer between Terminals: The International Terminal (Terminal 2) is about 5km (3 miles) away from the Domestic Terminal (Terminal 1) at Palam. There is a free transfer shuttle between the terminals. Indian Airlines also operate a free shuttle running 24 hours; information counters are situated in the Arrivals areas of both terminals.

Car Parking: Car parking is available at both terminals. There are two car parks at Terminal 2 (premium and standard parking); a premium car park is also situated outside Terminal 1 (hall B). Free transfer is provided between Terminal 2 and the car park.

Road: Taxi: Delhi Traffic Police pre-paid taxi booths, located in the Arrivals areas of both terminals, issue vouchers for travel to the city; travellers should retain the receipt until reaching the desired destination and then hand it to the driver. Metered taxis and auto rickshaws are also available.

Bus: Buses run from the Arrivals area of Terminal 2 to central Delhi via Terminal 1 24 hours a day (journey time: 50 minutes).

A railway reservations desk is located in the Arrivals area of Terminal 2 for passengers wanting to connect with the railway.

Coach: An air-conditioned coach service is available; bookings and information is available in the Arrivals hall of Terminal 2.

Information and Help Desks: There are information counters in both terminals. An Airport Manager Office is located at both terminals for 24 hour information and assistance.

Money and communications: Banks, bureau de change facilities, a post office and credit-card operated Internet kiosks are provided at both terminals. Eating and drinking: There are snack bars and restaurants in Arrivals and Departures areas.

Shopping: There are duty-free shops in both the Arrivals and Departures lounges. The Terminal 2 transit lounge has duty-free and speciality shops.

Luggage: There is a left-luggage facility at the premium car park area near Terminal 2 and the standard car park opposite Terminal 1. A baggage wrapping service is available in Terminal 2. Lost property is at the Airport Manager Offices in both terminals. Other facilities: There is a pharmacy in the International Terminal and medical units in both terminals, manned by a doctor 24-hours a day. Resting rooms and baby care rooms are available at both terminals.

Conference and Business Facilities: Executive lounges with business facilities are located in Terminal 1 halls A and B. The Maharaja Lounge is situated in transit area of Terminal 2; other lounges are available. Conference and banqueting facilities are available at the Centaur Hotel (tel: (0)11 565 2223), is situated near Terminal 2.

Disabled Facilities: Toilets and ambulift facilities for disabled travellers are available; passengers should request any special assistance when booking their tickets. There is a special parking area for disabled travellers.

Full Airport Name: (Delhi) Indira Gandhi International Airport

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