• 20 years of growth: Why India’s aviation industry is taking off

    “Indians want to spend money. They’re one of the world’s biggest spenders today.”
    That’s the explanation Neerja Bhatia, vice president of India Etihad, offers for why India is now the world’s fastest-growing aviation sector.
    “If you look at the past, an average middle-class family would take one domestic holiday a year,” she tells CNN. “Today the trend has changed.”
    International carriers want in on the action.
    In 2013, India’s Jet Airways partnered with the UAE’s Etihad Airways.
    With Jet having the widest domestic network in India, there were suddenly dozens more routes, and tens of thousands of seats, connecting India to the Abu Dhabi hub.
    Together, the partnership holds 21% of India’s aviation market, meaning about one in five fliers in India board either Jet or Etihad.
    India’s airspace hasn’t always been so lively or attractive.
    The government had a monopoly on national air carriers and strict aviation policies blocked foreign ventures.
    That all changed with de-regulation in 1994.
    Air India, the country’s national carrier, has been carrying the India flag around the world for decades. 

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