India's aviation sector is a treasure chest. India is the second most populous country in the world and is set to be a great place for airlines. One of the most sought-after markets of many countries is its outbound tourism market.

OAG believes that the sector is teeming with potential in the coming years because of the lifting of travel restrictions in India. Here's why.

Most populated country by 2024

demographers predict that India will overtake China as the world's most populous country by the year 2024 because of the decline in Chinese birth fertility rates. India's population is estimated to be 1.39 billion in 2021. More potential customers for both domestic and international routes can be found with the population boom.

Air travel is an integral part of travelling around India

With a landmass of 1.2 million square miles, air travel is an important part of travelling around India, and the introduction of India's UDAN, or Regional Connectivity scheme, in the last 5 years has made it a priority to improve domestic connections.

The domestic capacity in India grew at an average rate of 16% each year from 2016 to 2019. The domestic market in India grew by just over one-third of its capacity between 2016 and 2019.

Regional airports are booming

The smallest airports in India have seen rapid growth. Tier 4 and 5 airports saw very strong growth in the period from the beginning of the year to the end of it.

The scheme has generated some positive results for smaller airports in India and improved connections with a major hub airport, as evidenced by the fact that there are 24 domestic routes operating in March 2022.

One of the challenges of India's aviation sector is improving the infrastructure of regional airports to match the increasing passenger capacity as well as using some of these airports to bring in more tourists as part of the region's tourism plans.

Indians love travelling overseas

Indians travel all over the world. It is one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets. India's outbound tourism market is estimated to reach $9 billion by the year 2025. Europe commands 20% of Indian outbound departures.

India's outbound international traffic is connected via one-stop services through the Middle East. There were 0.45m passengers who traveled to the United Kingdom from India in the year, and the market between India and Japan was 365,000 passengers. India's aviation sector has an opportunity to explore direct international services.

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