India is an enormous nation, the 7th largest in the world, and contains (as of 2010 figures) three of the fifteen most populated cities on Earth. Even for its size, it is a surprisingly varied country, with each region having its own culture, and in many cases, its own language. So, a traveler booking a flight to India is going to want to see more than just the city they fly into. Luckily, there are several options for cheap domestic flights inside the country, to give travelers more of a taste of this fascinating country.
Delhi or Mumbai?
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai is the largest airport in South Asia, and the #1 place that foreign travelers enter the country. There are flights from here to every region of the country, and every major airport. Only slightly smaller than Shivaji International in Mumbai is Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). This huge airport actually carries more domestic travelers, but fewer international ones than Mumbai. Because they are both such major hubs, every important airport in the country is reachable by both, so your options are pretty open no matter your international entry point.
However, Delhi and Mumbai are separated by over 1000 kilometers, with Mumbai located on the west coast of India and Delhi in the north, so there will be a real difference in flight times to the same location from each, and ticket prices as well. The quickest, cheapest flights from Mumbai include the beach paradise of Goa, Bangalore and Chennai. Delhi is a closer gateway to northern locations like Agra (home of the Taj Mahal), Jaipur and Darjeeling.
There is also land transportation involved, and Indian trains are something of a legend for international travelers, so you may want to plan to travel around the area of your international entry point by land, then fly between Mumbai and Delhi (or east to Kolkata) to get to different regions of the country.
Domestic Airlines in India
These days, there is so much air traffic within India that, like Europe, the airline market has really opened up. Air India still flies between all of the major cities, but there are also smaller discount airlines like Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, who can often beat Air India’s fares. SpiceJet is another option, and their main hub is Mumbai, where the other two have more flights based out of Delhi. Use our ticket search form and we’ll help you compare all of the options and get the best possible deal.