Is the Air India Transformation Something That New Delhi Needs?

Is the Air India Transformation Something That New Delhi Needs?
Photo Credit: Jamie Clarke/AviationSource

With the Air India transformation revealed this year featuring a new look and many aircraft on order, is this something that New Delhi Airport needs?

Looking at data from, we will see how the airport is doing, as well as whether the additional flights planned as a result of the expansion will propel their growth to new levels.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

New Delhi Movement Numbers At The Moment…

Is the Air India Transformation Something That New Delhi Needs?
Data provided by

For October 31-November 7, New Delhi Airport, which is the home to Air India, handled 1,239 movements, based on a seven-day rolling average provided by the flight tracking company.

This represents an increase of 6.26% compared to the same period last year, but is around 74 movements short of achieving pre-pandemic figures.

Below is the last four weeks’ worth of data based on the airport:

Date2019 Numbers2022 Numbers2023 NumbersPercentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)
October 3-101304 movements1182 movements1214 movements+2.71%
October 10-171317 movements1174 movements1237 movements+5.37%
October 17-241302 movements1194 movements1245 movements+4.27%
October 24-311311 movements1204 movements1241 movements+3.07%

What we can see from the data is that New Delhi Airport, the home of Air India, is performing better than last year, but a lot more flights need to be added if they wish to achieve pre-pandemic figures.


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Will The Air India Transformation Propel Growth for the Airport?

Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Earlier this year, Air India made a blockbuster order for 470 aircraft on a firm order basis. However, with additional purchasing rights for 370 more aircraft, this could bring the total to 840 if all are exercised.

Even in the perspective of sticking to the firm 470 aircraft, then that is a lot more aircraft to deploy from New Delhi after fleet replacement has been completed, and expansion continues.

This should, in theory, propel the airport in terms of growth as more flights will be operating on a regular basis, and should be more than enough to take them beyond the 1300+ movement benchmark for pre-pandemic levels.

So there is a big opportunity for the airport here to grow. With the Indian aviation industry exploding into the stratosphere in size, there is also another equation for New Delhi which doesn’t include Air India: IndiGo.

IndiGo has a far bigger orderbook than the Indian legacy carrier, with this spanning to over 1,000 aircraft thanks to an order made at the Paris Air Show back in June.

Depending on how many of those aircraft are assigned to New Delhi, then that can also help with the growth side of things too.

Overall, all eyes will be on the airport to see how such growth will be generated by the near 2,000 aircraft (If you include options) on order from the two largest carriers in India.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
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