Indian Aviation sector in the post-liberalization period can be divided into two phases: 1992-99, when six major private airlines took to the sky and post-2000 – witnessing a new breed of airlines jostle for their share of the sky. In 1992-93 the entry of new players in Indian Civil Aviation Industry was facilitated because of change in environmental factors. Two of the most important changes were: deregulation for private sector and the relaxation in rules regarding fleet size. Banking on them, many players, backed by NRIs, jumped into the fray. A majority of these players had a start up project as little as Rs. 50-60 cr, for it was not mandatory for the operators to own the fleet. Additionally, these ventures had neither the experience nor concrete business models (considered essential for running an aviation company successfully). As a consequence, a large percentage of these companies collapsed. Out of six major airlines that took off (in all 17 airlines) only two survived. The remaining left behind huge liabilities to oil companies and the Airport Authority of India. In the second phase of post-2000, there are as many as 10 players that have already started operations in the domestic sector of the country. The moot question that remains now is: With new age carriers waiting to zoom in again, will history be repeated? Revolutionized by liberalization, the aviation sector in India has been marked by fast-paced changes in the past few years. From being an expensive service that only a few could afford, the sector has now graduated to being a fiercely competitive industry with the presence of a number of private and public airlines and several consumer-oriented offerings (Table 1 presents the market share of major domestic players from 1953 to 2006).
Table 1: Market Share of Major Domestic Players
CarrierLaunch YearMarket Share (%)Net ProfitFleet SizeStrategy