7 Cheapest Airlines in India (In 2023)

by Flora
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“What are the cheapest airlines in India?” is a question I get asked a lot. With so many new airlines appearing, flying on a budget in India is becoming accessible to all. Our guide is here to spotlight seven of the cheapest Indian airlines. Get ready to explore these stellar options!

India, a land of diverse cultures, ancient heritage, and breathtaking landscapes, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. From the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the serene backwaters of Kerala, the majestic forts of Rajasthan to the sandy beaches of Goa, there are incredible places in India awaiting you. This makes is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Asia. But, let’s face it, travel can be pricey. That’s where knowing the cheapest airlines in India comes into play. These make your dream trip a reality without burning a hole in your pocket.

Are you an adventure seeker eager to trek the mountains? Perhaps you’re a history buff looking to time-travel through centuries-old monuments. Or, if you’re a foodie, you might want to indulge in a culinary journey. In this vibrant country, there’s something for everyone. And guess what? You don’t have to splurge to experience it all! With a plethora of cheap airlines in India, you can explore this magnificent country to your heart’s content, even on a budget.

But how do you navigate through the myriad of budget airlines in India? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we dive into the most affordable options in the Indian skies, ensuring your journey is as cost-effective as it is unforgettable. Let’s dive in!

The cheapest airlines in India right now
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#1 tip to find cheap flights to India

Looking for cheap flights in India? Before diving into all the top airlines that fly to India, I want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.

For the past 3 years, I’ve used Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going) to get amazing flight deals. All you have to do is enter your home airport and where you want to go, and from there, they’ll send you mistake fares and other ridiculously cheap flight deals. And the coolest part? It’s 100% FREE! In 2023, I’ve saved thousands of dollars from their email alerts. This includes most recently, a $722 roundtrip fare from Boston to New Delhi.

There’s a free and a premium version – the free one has pretty much everything you’ll need. Though if you’re like me and travel a lot, it’s worth upgrading to the paid version for $49 per year. I recommend signing up for the free trial to try it for yourself. And if you like it, use my coupon code JON20 to save 20%!

Now without further ado, here are the cheapest airlines in India in 2023.

Low-Cost Airlines in India: The Cheapest and Best Airlines to Fly

Looking to travel around India anytime soon? Flying in India doesn’t have to break the bank. With that in mind, here are my picks for the 8 cheapest airlines in India right now:

1. IndiGo

When it comes to finding a cheap airline in India, IndiGo stands out. Known for its distinctive blue and white livery, IndiGo takes pride in its mantra of offering low fares, punctual services, and a courteous, hassle-free travel experience. It’s no wonder that this airline is often the first choice for those looking for cheap flight deals to India.

Founded in 2006, IndiGo has swiftly risen to become the largest airline in India by passenger volume, and there’s a good reason for that. The airline’s extensive network spans prominent cities and charming hidden gems across India and beyond. From the bustling streets of Mumbai to the scenic beauty of Srinagar, IndiGo ensures that the wonders of India and the subcontinent are just a flight away.

What distinguishes IndiGo in the world of budget airlines in India is their unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction.
What distinguishes IndiGo in the world of budget airlines in India is their unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction.

But what truly sets IndiGo apart in the realm of cheap airlines in India? It’s their relentless commitment to customer satisfaction. Expect clean cabins, friendly staff, and on-time performance that rivals any of its competitors. Plus, with its lean fleet of primarily Airbus A320s, the airline maintains operational efficiency, translating into savings for passengers.

Worried about legroom on a budget airline? IndiGo has got you covered with ergonomically designed seats that prioritize passenger comfort. And for those who travel heavy, the airline offers a generous baggage allowance with affordable options to add more.

The airline operates from multiple hubs, the primary ones being in Delhi and Hyderabad, providing passengers with flexible travel options. So, next time you’re planning an Indian escapade, why not let IndiGo take you there? After all, it’s not just about reaching your destination. It’s about enjoying the journey, affordably!

2. Vistara

Imagine gliding through the clouds in an ambiance that strikes the perfect balance between luxury and affordability. That’s what Vistara, one of the cheapest airlines in India, promises its passengers.

A joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, Vistara brings together Tata’s legendary hospitality and Singapore Airlines’ renowned service excellence. The result? An unmatched flying experience that’s light on your wallet but heavy on value.

Established in 2015, Vistara has quickly established a stronghold in the Indian aviation market. They operate more than 200 flights daily across 36 destinations. The airline’s network connects major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, with further plans for international expansion. It’s the go-to option for travelers seeking cheap flights to India from various destinations.

This is the commitment that Vistara, one of India's most economical airlines, makes to its passengers.
This is the commitment that Vistara, one of India’s most economical airlines, makes to its passengers.

For the budget-conscious, Vistara’s Economy class offers one of the most generous legroom spaces among Indian airlines, and the baggage allowance is just as pleasing. What’s more, the airline’s loyalty program, Club Vistara, offers benefits like free flights, upgrades, and excess baggage allowance.

Vistara operates from its primary hub in Delhi, a convenient spot for both domestic and international transit. If you’re charting your next Indian adventure or planning a trip from the US to the subcontinent, Vistara offers an experience that’s not just affordable, but also unforgettable.

Looking to save BIG on airfare? I recommend signing up for Dollar Flight Club. Thanks to DFC, I saved $5,000+ on travel in 2023…so I couldn’t recommend it more!

3. SpiceJet

Step aboard SpiceJet, where travel is all about zesty experiences at prices that will have you pinching yourself! As one of the best low-cost Indian airlines, SpiceJet has revolutionized the way people fly. This vibrant carrier, recognized by its lively red branding, has been a game-changer in the Indian aviation sector, making air travel accessible to millions.

SpiceJet focuses on bridging the gaps in the sky between major metros and emerging cities. Today, it connects an impressive network of 63 destinations, including 52 domestic and 11 international locales. Planning a serene retreat to the beaches of Goa or exploring the cultural riches of Varanasi? SpiceJet ensures the heart of India is merely a flight away.

SpiceJet, among the premier Indian low-cost airlines, has transformed the air travel experience.
SpiceJet, among the premier Indian low-cost airlines, has transformed the air travel experience.

The perks of flying with this budget Indian airline don’t stop at the basics. SpiceJet’s loyalty program, SpiceClub, offers benefits including priority check-in and discounts on meals to accumulating points for free flights. And let’s not forget the deals! SpiceJet’s regular flash sales are legendary, often slashing prices to rates you have to see to believe.

With primary hubs at Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata airports, SpiceJet is strategically positioned at the crossroads of India. They offer flights that cater to tourists, business travelers, and everyone in between. Whether it’s a business trip to the bustling streets of Mumbai or a relaxing vacation in the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, SpiceJet invites you to explore the wonders of India at fares that are as delightful as the destinations.

4. AirAsia India

Embark on an unforgettable journey with AirAsia India, where economical fares meet exceptional experiences! This carrier emerges from a fruitful alliance between the esteemed AirAsia Group and Tata Sons. It’s a top choice for travelers seeking cheap airlines in India. It offers more than low-cost tickets. AirAsia India treats passengers to a comprehensive experience that includes stellar service, an expansive network, and undeniable comfort, which sets AirAsia India apart.

From its inaugural flight in 2014, AirAsia India has soared, creating a web of destinations across the nation. Beyond the well-trodden metros, this carrier whisks you away to India’s hidden gems, cities teeming with tales and traditions. For globe-trotters, the airline’s far-reaching network is the answer to cheap Indian flights, connecting the subcontinent to the world.

AirAsia India serves as your gateway to India's marvels and more, without the steep cost.
AirAsia India serves as your gateway to India’s marvels and more, without the steep cost.

AirAsia India shatters budget travel stereotypes. Step onto their Airbus A320s, and you’re greeted with a freshness in ambiance and ample space. Long gone are the days of cramped seats and weary legs. Additionally, their savvy baggage option — pre-book and save — is every smart traveler’s dream.

The BIG Loyalty program is a treasure trove for the frequent flyer. It transcends mere point accumulation, opening a world of privileges and turning every trip into a golden memory. For bargain hunters, their online platforms are a goldmine of airfare steals, which makes cheap flights in India a regular delight.

With hubs strategically positioned in Bangalore and Delhi, AirAsia India is your passport to India’s wonders and beyond, without the exorbitant price. When wanderlust calls again, let AirAsia India chart your course through the skies!

5. Akasa Air

Discover a new era of air travel with Akasa Air, the brainchild of billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. This airline offers a unique blend of affordability and premium service that’s transforming India’s aviation scene. For travelers seeking low-cost airlines in India, Akasa provides an experience that breaks the mold. Akasa prioritizes passenger comfort and satisfaction at competitive prices.

One standout feature of Akasa is their choice of the 737 Max-8 aircraft. Known for fuel efficiency, these planes also boast modern interiors and unexpected personal space, setting Akasa apart in the budget airline market. The airline believes that low cost shouldn’t mean low quality. Their investment in passenger comfort underscores this.

Akasa offers a distinctive experience for travelers searching for budget airlines in India.
Akasa offers a distinctive experience for travelers searching for budget airlines in India.

Akasa goes beyond cost savings, offering regular promotions that make spontaneous travel an exciting possibility. Their diverse routes connect passengers to India’s well-loved locales and undiscovered spots, appealing to a wide range of travelers. Whether you’re an adventurer at heart or traveling for business, Akasa has a destination for you.

Customer loyalty looks different at Akasa. Instead of a conventional program, the airline focuses on cultivating a community of travelers through unwavering excellence and service. Every interaction, from booking to landing, is designed to be seamless and pleasant.

Akasa Air promises an elevated experience that has passengers returning for their dedication to reliability, affordability, and outstanding service. With its home base in Mumbai, Akasa showcases innovative, customer-focused flights in India.

6. Air India Express

Air India Express stands out in the crowded skies for one simple reason: it delivers what it promises. This no-nonsense airline, an offshoot of the historic Air India, has become a staple in the cheapest airlines to go to India category. It offers a bare-bones, yet reliable travel experience for those who value efficiency and affordability above all else.

The airline’s network is its main draw. Air India Express provides vital connections between smaller cities and major urban centers within India, as well as key destinations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It’s the airline of choice for travelers who want direct routes to often underserved destinations. This makes it one of the cheapest international airlines to India.

Air India Express is a top choice for travelers desiring direct routes to underserved places
Air India Express is a top choice for travelers desiring direct routes to underserved places

The simplicity of Air India Express is reflected in its fleet, a collection of Boeing 737-800 aircraft known for their reliability and performance. These planes, while lacking in luxury, are workhorses of the skies. It’s a perfect match for the airline’s ethos of practicality and punctuality.

But where Air India Express truly shines is in its transparent pricing structure. Passengers appreciate the all-inclusive fares, devoid of hidden charges, and the clear baggage policy that allows for hassle-free travel planning. This level of transparency is a breath of fresh air, especially for budget-conscious travelers who need to plan their trips down to the last detail.

Air India Express isn’t about the frills. It’s about delivering a solid, dependable air travel experience at a price point that’s accessible to a broad spectrum of travelers. Operating from its hub in Kochi, it’s the go-to airline for those who want the assurance of a well-established brand with the cost-saving advantages of a budget carrier.

7. Go First

Welcome to Go First, the airline that’s mastered the art of exceptional air travel without the hefty price tag. Known for its youthful vibe and energy, Go First stands out in the market. Why? Because it’s one of India’s cheapest airlines, and it does so with style!

From the moment you book your ticket, you’ll notice the Go First difference. Their user-friendly website and app mean you spend less time planning and more time dreaming about your destination. Speaking of destinations, Go First serves a multitude of cities across India and a growing number of international locations. Whether you’re dreaming of the beaches in Goa or the hustle of Mumbai, Go First takes you there.

Go First sets itself apart in the Indian market of budget airlines with its youthful and energetic atmosphere.
Go First sets itself apart in the Indian market of budget airlines with its youthful and energetic atmosphere.

Go First offers more than affordable flights to India. It’s about experiencing joy in the journey. Their fleet is a young array of Airbus A320s, designed for comfort, reliability, and performance. The interiors are bright, the seats invite you to relax, and the staff are always ready with a smile. It’s a happy vibe that turns a routine flight into a delightful experience.

Worried about hidden fees that low-cost carriers are infamous for? Go First puts those fears to rest with its transparent pricing and options that allow passengers to choose — and pay for — only the services they need. It’s all about making smart choices!

With hubs in Mumbai and Delhi, Go First is the airline for those who know that the journey matters as much as the destination. Notably, Go First was the first airline in the world to operate narrow-body aircraft like the Airbus A320neo. This makes it a pioneer in adopting advanced, fuel-efficient technology for a greener future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Cheapest Airlines in India

Here are some common questions and answers about the best budget airlines in India.

Which Indian airline is the cheapest?

The answer to this can vary based on the season, route, and booking time. However, airlines like IndiGo, Go First, and SpiceJet are often recognized for offering some of the cheapest flights to India, especially for domestic travel. They frequently have promotions and discounts, so it’s always a good idea to check their websites or subscribe to their newsletters for the latest deals.

What is the national airline of India?

The national airline of India is Air India. It’s been operating since 1946 and is the flag carrier airline of India, known for its extensive network of domestic and international routes. Air India represents the historical and cultural heritage of the country and is a member of the Star Alliance.

How many airlines are in India?

India’s aviation market is one of the fastest-growing in the world. Here’s a quick look at some of the key players:

  • Air India: The historic flag carrier and a major service provider for both domestic and international routes.
  • IndiGo: Known for its low-cost flights and extensive domestic network.
  • Vistara: A joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, offering a premium flying experience.
  • SpiceJet: Another low-cost carrier with a strong presence in Indian skies.
  • Go First: Previously known as GoAir, this airline offers affordable travel options.
  • AirAsia India: A joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia Investment Limited, known for its budget-friendly fares.
  • Akasa Air: A new entrant planning to tap into the ultra-low-cost carrier market.

What month is the cheapest to fly from the US to India?

Generally, the cheapest month to fly from the US to India is September. The high-temperature season (April to June) in India sees a drop in international travel due to the heat, sometimes leading to lower airfares. However, post-monsoon, the weather is more pleasant, and airlines often offer deals to encourage travel. It’s always wise to monitor fare trends and book in advance to secure the best deals.

In this extensive guide, we've examined cheapest airlines in India, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.
In this extensive guide, we’ve examined cheapest airlines in India, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.

Are Indian airlines safe to fly?

Yes, Indian airlines are safe to fly. They adhere to international safety protocols and regulations enforced by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory body in India. Airlines like Air India, Vistara, and IndiGo have modern fleets and invest heavily in maintenance, safety training, and operational excellence.

Do any cheap Indian airlines include checked baggage?

Most low-cost carriers in India, like IndiGo and Go First, offer competitive fares that usually don’t include checked baggage in the base ticket price. However, they provide flexible options allowing passengers to purchase checked baggage allowance in advance at a lower rate compared to paying at the airport. It’s important to review the baggage policy while booking to avoid unexpected fees.

How can I find the best deals on flights to India?

Finding the best deals on flights to India doesn’t have to be a complex task. With a little planning, flexibility, and the use of some smart strategies, you can secure excellent airfares. Here are ten detailed tips for snagging the best deals:

  • Early Searches, Early Wins: Start monitoring flight prices as soon as you know you’ll be traveling. Airfare fluctuates regularly, and being an early bird helps you spot trends and grab tickets when prices dip.
  • Newsletter Insights: Subscribe to airlines’ newsletters and opt to receive promotional offers. Airlines often send out information about sales, special deals, or discount codes to subscribers first.
  • Comparison is Key: Use multiple flight comparison websites and apps. Each may have different deals or display airlines that others don’t, broadening your scope for finding the best fare.
  • Off-Peak Opportunities: Identify the off-peak travel seasons for your destination. Prices often drop during these periods due to lower demand. For India, the summer months can see reduced airfare, though you’ll contend with hotter weather.
  • Date and Airport Flexibility: Show some flexibility with your travel dates and departure airports. Even a day’s difference can significantly impact fare prices. Also, check surrounding airports; a longer drive might net a cheaper flight.
  • Loyalty Rewards: Join airline loyalty programs and sign up for credit cards that offer travel rewards. You can use points or miles to purchase tickets or upgrade seats, and sometimes membership provides access to exclusive fare discounts.
  • Round Trip vs. One Way: Investigate both round-trip and one-way ticket prices. Traditionally, round-trip tickets are cheaper, but this isn’t always the case, especially with low-cost carriers.

Remember, patience and research are your allies in finding the best flights to India. Keep these tips in hand, stay flexible, and you’re likely to land a fantastic deal for your next adventure!

When are flights the cheapest in India?

India, with its rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and experiences, is a must-visit for any traveler. But if you’re looking to traverse this vast nation without spending a fortune on flights, timing and a bit of strategy can make all the difference:

  • Off-Peak Season: Generally, the cheapest time to fly within India is during the monsoon season, which varies by region but typically falls between June and September. While the rains can be heavy, especially in the western and southern parts, it’s also when the landscapes are at their most lush and vibrant.
  • Post-Festival Lulls: Right after major festivals like Diwali, Holi, or Durga Puja, there’s often a dip in domestic travel, which can lead to more competitive airfare.
  • Mid-Week Flights: Just like many other places, flying on weekdays, especially Tuesday and Wednesday, can be cheaper than weekends when there’s a surge in local travelers.
  • Booking Tips: Always compare prices using flight aggregators like Skyscanner, MakeMyTrip, or Cleartrip. Booking a few weeks in advance, rather than last minute, can also get you better deals. Setting up fare alerts can be a game-changer.
  • Avoid Peak Seasons: If possible, steer clear of the winter months, especially December and January, when many tourists and NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) visit, driving up demand and prices.
  • Regional Considerations: Remember, India is vast. While the Himalayan regions might be off-peak during the cold winter months, places like Goa see a tourist surge. Always consider the specific region’s peak times.

Recap: Cheapest Airlines in India in 2023

In the vast and diverse skies of India, a variety of airlines offer services that cater to every traveler’s needs and budget. From the luxurious cabins of Vistara to the cost-effective, reliable services of IndiGo and Go First, options abound for anyone looking to explore India or venture beyond its borders. Each airline presents unique features, from extensive route networks and premium onboard amenities to loyalty programs that reward frequent flyers.

Finding the best deals requires a blend of proactive strategy and savvy research. Subscribing to newsletters, using comparison websites, and being flexible with travel plans are crucial steps in securing the most competitive fares. Loyalty programs are not to be overlooked, offering valuable rewards and exclusive deals that can significantly reduce travel costs. Additionally, understanding the best times to book flights, such as during promotional periods or off-peak seasons, can lead to surprising savings.

In a world rich with travel opportunities, Indian airlines stand out for their commitment to customer satisfaction, safety, and variety in travel options. They continue to push the boundaries, ensuring that whether you’re seeking luxury, comfort, affordability, or a bit of everything, your journey through the skies will be nothing short of remarkable. Remember, the adventure starts with the flight. Choose wisely, and make every journey an unforgettable story etched in the clouds.

The cheapest airlines in India for all types of travelers
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