Indian Airlines: Wikis


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  • on 2 January 1990, 26-year old Nivedita Bhasin of Indian Airlines became the youngest woman pilot in world civil aviation history to command a jet aircraft?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Founded 1953
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent flyer program Flying Returns
Alliance Star Alliance (2010)
Fleet size 82 (+3 Orders) excl.subsidiaries
Destinations 64 excl.subsidiaries
Company slogan New Horizons. Enduring Values.
Parent company NACIL
Headquarters Mumbai, India[1]
Key people Arvind Jadhav, CMD

Indian Airlines or Indian (Hindi: इंडियन एयरलाइंस or इंडियन) is an airline based in Mumbai[2], India, and focuses primarily on domestic routes, along with several international services to neighbouring countries in Asia. Indian Airlines is state-owned, and is administered by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It is one of the two flag carriers of India, the other being Air India.

Though the company that owns and operates the airline continues to be named Indian Airlines Limited, on 7 December 2005, the airline was rebranded as Indian or इंडियन for advertising purposes as a part of a program to revamp its image in preparation for an initial public offering (IPO).[3] The airline operates closely with Air India, India's national carrier. Alliance Air, a fully-owned subsidiary of Indian Airlines, was renamed Air India Regional.[4]

In 2007, the Government of India announced that Indian Airlines would be merged into Air India. As part of the merger process, a new company called the National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) was established, into which both Air India (along with Air India Express) and Indian Airlines] (along with Alliance Air) will be merged. Once the merger is complete, the airline - which will be called Air India - will continue to be headquartered in Mumbai and will have a fleet of over 130 aircraft.



The airline is set up under the Air Corporations Act, 1953 with an initial capital of Rs. 32 million and started operations on 1 August 1953. It was established after legislation came into force to nationalise the entire airline industry in India. Two new national airlines were to be formed along the same lines as happened in the United Kingdom with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways (BEA). Air India took over international routes and Indian Airlines Corporation (IAC) took over the domestic and regional routes.[citation needed]

Seven former freedom domestic airlines, Deccan Airways, Airways India, Bharat Airways, Himalayan Aviation, Kalinga Airlines, Indian National Airways and Air Services of India, were merged to form the new domestic national carrier. Indian Airlines Corporation inherited a fleet of 99 aircraft including 74 Douglas DC-3 Dakotas, 12 Vickers Vikings, 3 Douglas DC-4s and various smaller types from the seven airlines that made it up.

Vickers Viscounts were introduced in 1957 with Fokker F27 Friendships being delivered from 1961. The 1960s also saw Hawker Siddeley HS 748s, manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, join the fleet.

The jet age began for IAC with the introduction of the pure-jet Sud Aviation Caravelle airliner in 1964, followed by Boeing 737-200s in the early 1970s. April 1976 saw the first three Airbus A300 wide-body jets being introduced. The regional airline, Vayudoot, which had been established in 1981, was later reintegrated.

Old orange logo of Indian Airlines until the mid-2000s

By 1990, Airbus A320-200s were introduced. The economic liberalisation process initiated by the Government of India in the early 1990s ended Indian Airlines' dominance of India's domestic air transport industry. Indian Airlines faced tough competition from Jet Airways, Air Sahara (now Jet Lite), East-West Airlines, Skyline NEPC, and ModiLuft. As of 2005, Indian Airlines was the second largest airline in India after Jet Airways while Air Sahara controlled 17% of the Indian aviation industry.

East-West Airlines, Skyline NEPC and ModiLuft discontinued flight operations but the entry of several low-cost airlines in India, such as Air Deccan, SpiceJet, IndiGo (Interglobe Enterprise) and others like Kingfisher Airlines continue to give competition in its market, forcing Indian to cut down air-fares. However, as of 2006, Indian Airlines was still a profit making airline.

Indian Airlines Limited is wholly owned by the Government of India through a holding company and has 19,300 employees as of March 2007.[5] Its annual turn-over, together with that of its subsidiary Alliance Air, is well over Rs.4000 crores (around US$ 1 billion). Together with its subsidiary, Alliance Air, Indian Airlines carries a total of over 7.5 million passengers annually.[citation needed]

In December 2007, Air India was invited to join the Star Alliance. Since Indian Airlines is in the midst of merging with Air India, it too will effectively be a member.


Breakfast served onboard Indian Airlines's Bangkok-Delhi flight.
Executive class cabin of an Indian Airlines Airbus A320
An A320 at Bangalore with livery used in the 50th years of service.
An Airbus A320 at Bangalore in historic livery, taxiing away for departure to Mumbai

Code Share

Indian Airlines has codesharing agreements with the following airlines[6]:


Indian Airlines operates an all-Airbus fleet consisting of the Airbus A320 family. As of March 2009 the average age of Indian Airlines' fleet was 12.58 years.

Indian Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers
Airbus A319-100 2
120 (14/106)
122 (8/114)
144 (0/144)
5 dry leased.
Widescreen PTV with AVOD.
Airbus A320-200 39 2 146 (20/126) 7 dry leased.
Current fleet of old A320-200s due to be replaced by 2014.
Airbus A321-200 19 1 172 (20/152) Widescreen PTV with AVOD.
Total 82 3


The aircraft livery used while the company was called Indian Airlines was one of the longest in terms of time. Its aircraft were mainly white. The belly was in light metallic grey. Above the windows, "Indian Airlines" was written in English on one side and Hindi on other. The tail was bright orange, with its logo in white. In most of the aircraft, the logo was also painted on the engines over its bare metal colour. Also, when the company was under the title of Indian Airlines, to celebrate its 50th year of service the airline put the slogan "50 years of flying" in gold on many of their aircraft.

After the name change to Indian, the company's aircraft was sporting a new look inspired by the Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. The tail of their aircraft had a partial blue wheel since practically 3/4 of the remainder is cut off. The wheel is over an orange background with the carrier's name "Indian" written in English on one side of the fuselage, and in Hindi on the other.

On 15 May 2007, the Government of India released the new livery, which was sent to Boeing in Seattle to repaint all the new fleet coming into the new Air India. The old fleets of Air India and Indian Airlines will also slowly be painted in the new livery.

Incidents and accidents

  • On 11 September 1963, Vickers Viscount VT-DIO crashed 51 kilometres (32 mi) south of Agra, killing all 18 people on board.[8]
  • On 29 August 1970: a Fokker F27 flew into high terrain near Silchar shortly after takeoff, killing the five crew members and 34 passengers.
  • On 30 January 1971: a Fokker F27 on a scheduled flight from Srinagar to Jammu was hijacked to Lahore by Ashraf and Hashim Qureshi, self-proclaimed Kashmiri Separatists. Passengers were returned to India on 2 February, but the hijackers destroyed the aircraft. India and Pakistan, blaming each other's intelligence services, each ban the other country's overflights and India-Pakistan flights until 1976.
  • On 9 August 1971, Vickers Viscount VT-DIX was damaged beyond economic repair when it overran the runway at Jaipur Airport. The aircraft was landed with a tailwind on a wet runway.[9]
  • On 9 December 1971: a Hawker Siddeley HS 748, near Chinnamanur was descending into Madurai when it flew into high terrain about 50 mi (80 km) from the airport, killing the four crew members and all 17 passengers. The accident occurred in reduced visibility during daylight hours.
  • On 11 August 1972: a Fokker F27, at New Delhi lost altitude and crashed after aborting a landing. The four crew members and the 14 passengers were killed.
  • On 31 May 1973: a Boeing 737-2A8 (registered VT-EAM) crashed and burned during landing at New Delhi, killing five of the seven crew and 43 of the 58 passengers.
  • On 12 October 1976: a Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle had its right engine catch fire shortly after takeoff from Mumbai. The crew attempted to return, but fuel flow to the engine was not stopped. When the fire spread through the fuselage and the hydraulic system failed, the aircraft controls failed before landing. All six crew members and their 89 passengers were killed.
  • On 4 August 1979: a Hawker Siddeley HS 748 aircraft was approaching Mumbai airport at night and in poor weather when it flew into high terrain approximately 6 mi (9.7 km) from the airport, killing the four crew and their 41 passengers.
  • On 10 May 1980: a Boeing 737-2A8, en route near Rampurhat experienced severe turbulence that killed two of the 132 passengers.
  • On 19 October 1988: Flight 113, a Boeing 737-2A8 (registered VT-EAH) hit an electric mast 5 mi (8.0 km) out on approach to Ahmedabad in poor visibility, killing the six crew members and all but one of the 129 passengers.
  • On 15 November 1993: Flight 440, an Airbus A300B2-101 (registered VT-EDV) executed a missed approach at Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport due to poor visibility, but the flaps failed to retract. After trying to solve the problem while flying in the vicinity of Hyderabad, the crew eventually diverted the aircraft to Chennai. The delay in diverting, and the need to fly slower due to the extended flaps, resulted in the aircraft running out of fuel on the way. The aircraft force-landed in a paddy field and was damaged beyond repair.There were no Fatalities on board.
  • On 24 December 1999: Flight 814, an Airbus A300B2-101 (registered VT-EDW) was hijacked just after taking off from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi. The plane flew around different points in the Subcontinent and finally landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as officials of the government of India and the Taliban negotiated. One passenger was killed and some were released. On 31 December 1999, the rest of the hostages on Flight 814 were freed.


Given below is a chart of trend of profitability of Indian Airlines as published in the 2004 annual report by Ministry of Civil Aviation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.[10]

Year Operating Revenues Operating Profit/(Loss)
2002 41,015 (1,347)
2003 46,498 1,251


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Discount airlines in Asia article)

From Wikitravel

This article is a travel topic.

This is one of several Wikitravel articles about Discount airlines.

Asian carriers have often offered lower fares than their European or American rivals. Now they are starting to catch the wave of discount airlines, pioneered in Europe and the US. In South-East Asia, an ASEAN-wide open skies agreement is in the works, but in the rest of the continent flights are still severely restricted by bilateral agreements.

Asian carriers are generally much cheaper than their American or European rivals, and there are some great bargains to be had. The low-cost airline industry in Asia is sure to boom in the coming years.

All fares quoted below are one-way (except where noted), include taxes and charges, and are widely available. Flight destinations may change and airlines may go bust without notice.

Below is the list of the carriers, grouped by their base country.


China's first low-cost airline was launched in July 2005, and many seem set to follow. Internationally, you can already fly in to various points in southern China from cities in Southeast Asia (see section below). Hong Kong's pioneering long-haul LCC Oasis shut down operations in April 2008.

China United

China United [1] flies out of Beijing's Nanyuan Airport (南苑机场, NAY) to various cities in Northern China. The Beijing article has details.

Hong Kong Express

Hong Kong Express [2] flies from Hong Kong to Hangzhou, and Ningbo with more destinations planned.

Spring Airlines

Spring Airlines [3] (春秋航空) flies from its base in Shanghai to over 20 destinations in China, and is still expanding rapidly.

Viva Macau

Viva Macau [4] flies from Macau to Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh city and Sydney (from August 2007). One of their revenue stream is by charging heavily on over-weight luggages, people have been charged up to $200MOP/kg of over-weight luggage. From 1 Apr 2009, they will charge a checked baggage fee of $20 AUD per passengers for any passengers with check in luggage. Also they have lowered the maximum check in weight from 20kg to 15kg. Passengers who bring a 20kg checked in luggage will be charged $20 AUD plus approx $1000 MOP luggage fee.


India's airline market is rapidly liberalising. A number of domestic low-cost carriers have started operations. They are notorious for offering cheap tickets with high taxes and "fees." Rising fuel prices in 2008 have forced many airlines to cut back on flights. Indian low-cost airlines tend to have bad delays, and restrictive cancellation and rescheduling policies.

Low-cost flights into India remain more limited, although Air India Express does operate some international flights and various Middle Eastern carriers fly to India. There are also limited connections from South-East Asia: as of November 2007, Tiger flies from Singapore to Chennai and Kochi. Air Asia flies to Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu from its KL, Malaysia, base. (Nok and Jetstar have terminated their services.)

Air India Express

Air India Express [5] is the low-cost spinoff of state carrier Air India. The carrier currently operates flights to Middle Eastern destinations Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Salalah, as well as from Chennai to Singapore, from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur and from Kolkata to Bangkok and Singapore.

Air India Regional

Air India Regional [6] is the low-cost regional airline of state carrier Air India.

Go Air

Go Air [7] is an Low Cost Carrier based out of Mumbai and operates flights to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu and Srinagar.


IndiGo [8] is based in Delhi and currently flies to 20 destinations across India on Airbus 320/321's.

Indus Air

Indus Air [9] flies Embraer regional jets from Chandigarh to Delhi and Mumbai.

Jet Lite

Jet Lite [10] - is the low-cost subsidiary of Jet Airways [11] and operates flights to 33 destinations.

Kingfisher Red

Kingfisher Red [12] (formerly Air Deccan) is the low-cost airline operated by Kingfisher Airlines. The Kingfisher Airlines website allows bookings for the full-service Kingfisher Class as well as low-cost Red Class flights. Kingfisher Red was originally Air Deccan, which was taken over by Kingfisher Airlines and rebranded in August 2008. Service standards have risen since the takeover. The Kingfisher Airlines network covers 69 destinations within India.


SpiceJet [13] started operations in May 2005. As of November 2009, they fly between 18 major destinations in India exclusively on Boeing 737-800/900 planes.

Sri Lanka

Air Asia

Airasia now flies from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo

Mihin Lanka

Mihin Lanka [14] is Sri Lanka's first LCC. The airline is based in Colombo and flies to various points in India as well as Bangkok, Dubai, Male and Singapore.


Japan's low-cost carriers have had a rocky ride, with most being snapped up by the majors. Don't expect any 5-cent tickets, as even promotional fares are usually above ¥12,000.

True low-cost flights into the country are quite limited, and due to capacity constraints none fly to Tokyo. As of 2009, your options are:

That said, some major American airlines like United and Northwest fly onward from Japan to other places in Asia (eg. Singapore, Hong Kong), and these are often heavily discounted.

Air Do

Japan's first low-cost carrier, Hokkaido International Airlines [17] flies from Tokyo to Sapporo, Asahikawa and Hakodate. It was absorbed by ANA in 2000 but continues operations.

Skymark Airlines

Skymark Airlines [18] flies from Tokyo to Fukuoka, Sapporo, Kobe and Naha.

Skynet Asia Airways

Skynet Asia Airways [19] flies from Tokyo to Miyazaki, Kumamoto and Nagasaki.


StarFlyer [20] flies between Tokyo and Kitakyushu (close to Fukuoka) multiple times daily.


South Korea's staid aviation scene was shaken up in 2005 when the first low-cost carrier started operation. (Needless to say, North Korea's aviation scene remains virtually non-existent.)

Hansung Airlines

Hansung Airlines [21] flies from Cheongju to Seoul and Jeju. An accident (no injuries) closed operations for several months, but they started flying again in March 2006.

Jeju Air

Jeju Air [22] flies from Seoul to Busan, Jeju and Yangyang, and also offers direct Jeju-Busan flights.

Middle East

Air Arabia

Air Arabia [23], the largest LCC in the Middle East, are based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. An economy service connects Sharjah with Dubai for US$2.50. They fly to a variety of destinations in the Middle East, East Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. They operate a modern fleet. Their fares are often very good value, starting at 119 UAE dirhams on some routes. They offer a connecting flight service.

They sometimes seem to use bait-and-switch advertising; their advertised rates are not always available when you try to book. Actual rates are often much higher, though usually still well below those of major airlines. Luggage allowances are about half of what one would expect for a mainstream carrier, which can be quite a surprise at check-in (one check-in bag, not two!).

The airline operates flights to Mumbai, Jaipur, Kochi, Nagpur, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, and Chennai in India. Other cities across the globe touched by Air Arabia are Aleppo and Damascus (Syria); Alexandria, Assiut and Luxor (Egypt); Amman (Jordan); Astana and Almaty (Kazakhstan); Athens, Bahrain; Beirut (Lebanon); Chittagong (Bangladesh); Colombo (Sri Lanka); Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh (KSA), Doha (Qatar); Istanbul (Turkey); Kabul (Afghanistan); Khartoum (Sudan); Kuwait; Muscat (Oman); Sanaa (Yemen); Sharjah (UAE) and Tehran (Iran).

Atlas Blue

Atlas Blue [24] flies from Marrakech and Agadir in Morocco to destinations around Europe (mostly France)


Menajet [25] flies a limited network from Beirut, Lebanon.

Nas Air

Nas Air [26] operates domestic flights in Saudi Arabia.

Jazeera Airways

Jazeera Airways [27] flies to many destinations across the Middle East and India. It has main hubs in Kuwait and Dubai.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia has the most developed low cost carrier networks in Asia, with many operators and fierce competition. All countries in South-East Asia can be reached by LCC.

Bases across multiple countries

Air Asia

Malaysian airline Air Asia [28] has the distinction of having been acquired for 1 ringgit (US $0.25), but they have now grown to the largest (and most profitable) operator in the region as well as being SkyTrax's World's Best Low Cost Airline for 2009. Originally founded by government-owned conglomerate DRB-Hicom, the heavily indebted airline was purchased by former Time Warner executive Tony Fernandes's company Tune Air Sdn Bhd for the symbolic sum of one ringgit on December 2nd, 2001. They operate on the now-classic model of open seating, primarily Internet/phone booking and no complimentary refreshments. AirAsia operates Flyasianxpress or FAX [29] and AirAsiaX in addition to two associated Companies: Thai AirAsia [30] and Indonesia AirAsia [31].

They have bases in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru (near Singapore), Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Bangkok and Jakarta, operating flights to:


Jetstar [32] is a Qantas-backed LCC currently flying from Singapore to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh, Manila, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Siem Reap, Taipei, Osaka and Yangon. Flights to India have been terminated. Jetstar's subsidiary brand Valuair flies to Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Denpasar (Bali). Jetstar's Australian registered planes also fly to Cairns via Darwin. Jetstar Pacific [33], its Vietnamese subsidiary, launched operations in 2008. Online check-in is available only for flights originating from Australia and New Zealand and food purchased outside the flight may not be consumed on board.


Batavia Air

Batavia Air [34] is a low cost airline operating an extensive domestic route network in Indonesia from their main hub in Jakarta. Currently offer services to two international destinations - Guangzhou and Kuching - with services to Singapore planned to commence in late 2009.


Garuda Citilink [35] operate a domestic route network in Indonesia. Fares start from 125,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($15). Warning: this subsidiary of Garuda Airline does not currently accept credit card purchases online or at its call centre, requiring payment via a limited number of ATMs in Indonesia or directly at their office in Jakarta.

Lion Air

Lion Air [36] flies from Jakarta to domestic destinations and Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore.

Warning: as of March 13, 2008 Lion air only accepts online credit card payment more than 48 hours before the departure time of the flight. Payment can be made via many popular Indonesian ATM's, however this option is not available to holders of foreign credit cards.

Mandala Airlines

Mandala Airlines [37] operates an extensive domestic route network in western Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali and Kalimantan) with promotional fares as low as Rp 30,000 (US$ 3). Mandala has been operating since 1969 and in recent years has adopted a discount airline business model.


Merpati Nusantara flies to many destinations missed by those listed above including Nusa Tenggara, Papua, Maluku, and East Timor. Merpati like Jetstar is technically not a discount airline, but due to its large number of short haul routes it must compete and therefore offers competitive pricing.


Cebu Pacific Air

Cebu Pacific [38] flies primarily within the Philippines. The airline is very successful also flying from Manila, Cebu and Davao to Bangkok, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Singapore, and Guangzhou, Macau, Shanghai, and Xiamen. They also fly to Osaka, Japan and the cities of Incheon and Pusan, South Korea. This is the most internet friendly air company from the Philippines. But probably as a result of problems they also had with VISA cards bookings they will never respond on e-mails while booking by telephone will result in higher seat prices. Internet prices start from 0 peso both inside and outside the Philippines but the highest costs are the tax and fuel costs resulting in the almost steady price of 50$ per single flight. Its the only company who flies from Cagayan de Oro(Mindanao) to Davao.


Tiger Airways

Tiger Airways [39] is a low-cost airline set up in Singapore jointly by Singapore Airlines and the people who started Ryanair. Services currently operate from Singapore's budget terminal to Australia (Darwin, Perth), China (Guangzhou, Haikou, Macau, Shenzhen and Xiamen]), Indonesia (Padang), Philippines (Manila), Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket), Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), India (Chennai and Bangalore). In addition, the airline has also set up a subsidary in Melbourne, Australia from which it flies to many domestic destinations accross the country. No free food or drinks are provided on Tiger flights. If you buy any while on-board your change will be given in Singapore dollars, even if you're flying from Macau to Manila. Please note that Tiger charges extra for check-in luggage, pre-allocated seats and credit card fees on top of the usual fees and charges, so consider these when you compare prices.

Nok Air

Thai Airlines low-cost spinoff Nok Air [40] took to the skies in 2004 sporting a lurid purple paint scheme with a bird's beak painted on the nose, and employing a price scheme similar to that of Air Asia.

Passengers can book on the web [41], call-center Tel-1318 or at the airports. Payment can be made via credit card, counter service, 7-11, or online credit card. Those who make the booking online can choose the seating right after the purchase.

Currently, they fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Udon Thani, Trang and Loei, from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, Udon Thani, Pai and Mae Hong Son. Nok's international routes to India and Vietnam have been terminated.

Orient Thai

Orient Thai [42], which also uses the brand One-Two-GO [43], flies domestic flights in Thailand as well as international flights to Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Seoul from both Bangkok and Phuket. They stopped flying for a while in 2008, but as of March 2009 are flying again.

Note: Even by low-cost carrier standards, Orient Thai's on-time record is notoriously poor and their planes, particularly the 747s, are old. A crash in September 2007 killed 89, although the jury is still out on what caused it.

PB air

PB air flies domestic Thai routes and Da Nang, Vietnam.


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