India has curently one of the World's most vibrant airline sectors, with the rapid growth of local low-cost airlines such as GoAir, Spicejet and Indigo, and expanding private full-service airline such as Kingfisher and Jet Airways (with their respective low-cost subsidiaries). There are some voices questioning the economic sustainability of so many carriers competing with each other, but the reality is that there are a number of factors that make that flying is today, by far, the most convenient and efficient way to travel across India. Low fares, brand-new fleets, the difficulty of moving over land, the large distances and the expanding economy all play a part on this state of things.
My recent visit to India was a great opportunity to have a first hand experience of the local airline market, specially since the trip involved several domestic flights (stopping at Mumbai, Kochi, Madurai and Chennai airports) in addition to the flights in and out of India, with Gulf Air via Bahrain.
Here are some pictures of the Kingfisher ATR-72 about to take us from Madurai (IXM) to Chennai (MAA)
Arrival at Chennai airport, another Kingfisher ATR-72, the airline uses this aircraft mostly for regional flights in South India.
More pics to follow shortly...