Delhi at the center of a travel resurgence

India’s capital city is enjoying a lot of attention recently. Not only has the Indian economy been growing, but recent relationship building work with China and new more fuel efficient aircraft have combined to boost Delhi as a travel hub. In fact according to OAG, the leading provider of digital flight information, Delhi has grown to become the 17th largest airport in the world in terms of airline capacity. That’s up from 33rd place just five years ago.

 Delhi has a lot of assets to make it attractive to airlines. The city is now the second largest city in the world with a population of 26.5 million and that’s expected to rise to 36 million by 2030 according to UN estimates.

“In the past year, scheduled airline capacity has grown by 9%,” according to OAG Schedules Analyser, “reaching just shy of 40 million departing seats. This comes on the back of 16% growth in the previous 12 months.  It’s not just the domestic market which is growing but also international air services. Domestic airline capacity makes up 74% of the Delhi market and grew by 10% over the past 12 months, while international capacity grew by 8%.”

The Indian air model is similar to other emerging markets in Asia.
Low-cost carriers provide 44% of the capacity at Delhi. There are a whopping 10 low-cost airlines in the market. On the full-service front, the mainline carriers added 12% more seats in the Delhi market over the past 12 months.

But perhaps the biggest story is the effect new aircraft is having and will continue to have on the market. Given Delhi’s central Asian location, newer planes such as single aisle A320-200 neo aircraft can reach destinations as far away as Europe, across China and Russia and even to Japan. This creates a large market for discount flights.

Putting all this together means that the future is bright for more growth in airline arrivals and departures at Delhi.