The domestic flights in India grew at 625% in the last 20 years, making the country one of the most attractive markets for the aviation sector.
According to a study by the Official Aviation Guide (OAG) recently, the total number of domestic passengers stood at 139 million in 2019, showing a 19% year-on-year growth. The number of domestic flights (frequencies) operating within India grew an astronomical 626% from 165,070 in 1998 to 1,034,404 in 2018.
“India’s youth are wanderlust, using their inherent tech-savviness to discover, plan and book travel. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have a substantial opportunity to leverage technology to win, engage and retain high-value travellers,” the report said.
Indian consumers’ increasing mobile usage and rising disposable incomes were the key triggers for the growth. “More than 50% of India’s 1.37 billion population are 25 years and younger. This demographic dividend is India’s biggest asset,” said Mayur Patel, Head of ASPAC, OAG.
“India’s youth are wanderlust, using their inherent tech-savviness to discover, plan and book travel. OTAs have a substantial opportunity to leverage technology to win, engage and retain high-value travellers.”
OTAs have undergone a 360º digital transformation to capitalize on the rise of outbound travel and to tap into Indian’s growing mobile user community. The most popular apps include iXigo, Goibibo, redBus and MakeMyTrip. These OTAs have successfully challenged the status quo by championing self-booking, price transparency and the mobile experience.
“Indian travellers have rising discretionary incomes and the data shows they like to spend on travel. In fact, the outbound market opportunity is now considered second only to China,” said Patel. “As domestic air travel matures and more consumers seek on-demand access to prices, ancillaries, airlines, international routes and destinations, OTAs will continue to push the boundaries on the mobile travel and booking experience. With a foundation built on technology and digital innovation, they are in the driver’s seat and cashing in to the maximum.”