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IndiGo vs. Air India — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 28, 2024
IndiGo is a low-cost Indian airline known for its efficiency and extensive domestic network. Air India, the flag carrier of India, offers a broader international reach and full-service flights.
IndiGo vs. Air India — What's the Difference?

Difference Between IndiGo and Air India


Key Differences

IndiGo, founded in 2006, is a privately-owned low-cost carrier based in India. It is known for its efficiency, punctuality, and a large domestic network. Air India, established in 1932, is the flag carrier of India and has a more extensive history. It operates as a full-service airline and has a significant international presence.
IndiGo’s business model focuses on low-cost travel, with a strategy of keeping operational costs low and providing affordable fares. This approach often means additional services like meals and checked baggage come at extra costs. Air India, being a full-service carrier, offers a more comprehensive service, including complimentary meals, more generous baggage allowances, and a wider range of classes, from economy to first class.
The fleet composition differs between the two airlines. IndiGo operates a single-type fleet, primarily using Airbus A320 family aircraft, which helps reduce maintenance and training costs. Air India has a more varied fleet, including both Boeing and Airbus aircraft, suited for a range of short-haul and long-haul international routes.
In terms of market share and reach, IndiGo holds a significant share of the domestic market in India and has been expanding its international routes. Air India, with its historical legacy, has a more established international network, connecting major cities globally, and is part of the Star Alliance network.
Customer service experiences also tend to differ. IndiGo’s model prioritizes efficiency and cost-saving, which may reflect in its customer service approach. Air India, with its full-service model, generally provides a more traditional and attentive in-flight service experience.

Comparison Chart

Type of Airline

Low-cost carrier
Full-service carrier



Business Model

Low-cost, additional services for extra fee
Full-service, inclusive of various amenities

Fleet Composition

Primarily Airbus A320 family
Diverse, including Boeing and Airbus

Market and Reach

Large domestic network, expanding international
Established global network, Star Alliance member

Compare with Definitions


Mainly operates domestic routes.
IndiGo covers most major cities across India.

Air India

Provides full-service flights.
On Air India, passengers enjoy complimentary meals.


Known for operational efficiency.
IndiGo's on-time performance is among the best in India.

Air India

A member of the Star Alliance.
As a Star Alliance member, Air India offers extensive global connectivity.


Charges extra for additional services.
On IndiGo flights, in-flight meals are available for purchase.

Air India

Offers multiple classes of service.
Travelers can book first class on certain Air India routes.


An Indian low-cost airline.
I booked a flight with IndiGo for its affordable rates.

Air India

Operates a diverse fleet.
Air India's fleet includes both Boeing and Airbus aircraft.


Uses a single-type aircraft fleet.
IndiGo’s use of the Airbus A320 makes its operations more streamlined.

Air India

The flag carrier airline of India.
Air India offers a range of international flights.

Common Curiosities

Does IndiGo offer international flights?

Yes, but primarily it operates domestic routes.

Which airline is older, IndiGo or Air India?

Air India, established in 1932.

Does Air India have a diverse fleet?

Yes, including both Boeing and Airbus models.

What type of airline is IndiGo?

It's a low-cost carrier.

What services does Air India offer?

It offers full-service flights with various amenities.

Is Air India a member of any airline alliance?

Yes, it's a member of Star Alliance.

Which airline is known for its operational efficiency?

IndiGo is known for its efficiency.

What is the fleet composition of IndiGo?

Primarily the Airbus A320 family.

Which airline is better for budget travel within India?

IndiGo is preferred for budget-friendly domestic travel.

Do I get complimentary meals on IndiGo flights?

No, meals are available for purchase.

Does Air India offer economy class?

Yes, along with business and first class.

Is Air India good for long-haul international flights?

Yes, it’s suitable for long-haul routes with various amenities.

Which airline has a larger international presence?

Air India has a more extensive international network.

Are extra services on IndiGo chargeable?

Yes, such as meals and checked baggage.

Can I earn frequent flyer miles with both airlines?

Yes, both have their loyalty programs.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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