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The Indian civil aviation industry has witnessed annual growth rates of upto 30 in recent years. A slew of low-cost airlines now compete with the more established operators. Modernisation and expansion of existing and greenfield airports have added capacity. Privatisation of the two major airports at Mumbai and Delhi has been completed. Two major greenfield airports were opened at Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Another major change as a result of deregulation of the commercial aviation sector in India has been the option for private airlines to fly overseas after completing five years of operations in the domestic market.

The civil aviation scenery in India has evolved in many ways. Whereas prior to 1992, when the two public sector airlines, namely Air-India and Indian Airlines enjoyed a monopoly in the domestic sector, today almost a dozen airlines are competing for a market share in the rapidly growing domestic market. In the early nineties, soon after deregulation, many of the newly established airlines went bust, including Modiluft, Damania (later Skyline NEPC), Gujarat Airways, East West, UBAir and VIF.

The Delhi-Mumbai sector is one of the busiest air routes in the world handling over 600 000 passengers in January 2017.

The government owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages 126 airports and civil enclaves out of a total of 449 airports and airstrips found in India. Indian airports handled over 254 million passengers in 2016. Freight handled amounted to 2.28 million tons in 2014/15. Less than 80 airports/aerodromes receive regular commercial flights. The cities of Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi and Mumbai are served by privately (or joint-venture) operated airports. All operational airports handled a total of around 265 million passengers (205.7 m domestic and 59.3 m international) in 2016-17 (Apr-Mar). The total number of aircraft movements increased to 2.05 million and air freight handled reached 2.53 million tons during 2015-16. With the strong growth witnessed in 2016, India became the fifth largest civil aviation market in the world (behind the USA, China, Japan and the UK) based on the 254 million passengers handled at all the airports.

Foreign air carriers operated 128 charter flights to Goa (India's main destination for international charter flights) in the 2013-14 season (Oct '13 to May '14).

India's commercial airline fleet is currently among the top ten nations in the world while the domestic air market holds forth position in the world.

India is the 9th largest civil aviation market in the world in FY17.

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