Air Transport

Air Transport is very essential for a vast country like India where distances are large, and the terrain and climatic conditions so diverse. It is also important for our links with other countries. India occupies a central location between western Europe and Africa on the one hand and South-East and East Asia, on the other.

History of Indian Airlines

  • 1911 : Air transport in India was launched between Allahabad and Naini.
  • 1947 : Air transport was provided by four major companies namely. Indian National Airways, Tata Sons Limited, Air Services of India and Deccan Airways.
  • 1951 : Four more companies joined the services, Bharat Airways, Himalayan Aviation Limited, Airways India and Kalinga Airlines.
  • 1953 : Air transport was nationalised and two Corporations, Air India International and Indian Airlines were formed. Now Indian Airlines is known as ‘Indian’.

The air transport in India has the following two sectors:

Air India

It handles foreign tract passengers and cargo. With 27 craand 16,714 employees, Air India operates 35 destinations with its own aircraft and serves 12 additional destinations through arrangements with foreign airlines. Air India carried 55 lakh passengers in 2007-08. Major international air routes are: Delhi-Rome-Frankfurt, Mumbai-London, Delhi-Moscow, Kolkata-Tokyo, Kolkata-Perth, Mumbai-London-New York. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata are the focal points of air transport.

Apart from Air India and its subsidiaries, there are 5 scheduled operators viz. Jet Airways (India) Ltd, Jetlite Airlines, Go Airlines (India) Pvt. Ltd , Spicejet, and Inter Global Aviation Ltd , (India Go) operating on domestic and on some international routes providing a wide choice of flights and connectivity to various parts of the country. Cargo airlines viz. Blue Aviation Pvt. Ltd ; Deccan Cargo and Express Logistics (Pvt) Ltd. are operating scheduled cargo in India.

Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited was established in October 1985. It provides helicopter services to the petroleum sector including ONGC, Oil Ltd. and Enron Oil and Gas, Mumbai High and connects remote and inaccessible areas.

The company has a strong presence in North-East having its helicopters deployed in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura. Apart from this it also provides services to certain state governments such as Punjab, M.P., Jharkhand Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and public sector undertakings like NTPC., GAIL, and BSF.

It also provides services to holy places like Kedarnath, Amarnath and Mata Vaishno Devi shrines.

Open Sky Policy

Open Sky Policy was introduced by the government in April, 1982 in order to help Indian exporters so that their exports become more competitive in the world market. Under this policy, foreign airlines or association of exporters can bring any freighters to the country.


Pipelines are most convenient and economical mode of transporting liquids like petroleum, petroleum products, natural gas, water, milk etc. Even solids can also be transported through pipelines after converting them into slurry. The first pipeline in India was laid by Oil India in Assam to bring crude oil from Naharkatia to Numnati which was extended to Barauni in Bihar. It is 1,167 km long. It is now extended to Kanpur in U.P. The pipeline between Naharkatia and Numnati bec ame operative in 1962 and that between Numnati and Barauni in 1964. Construction work on pipeline from Barauni to Kanpur and Haldia was completed in 1966.

Extensive network of pipelines has been constructed in the Gujarat region. First pipeline connected the Ankleshwar oilld to Koyali reery (1965). Later, Kalol-Sabarmati crude pipeline, the Navagaon-Kalol-Koyali pipeline and the Mumbai High-Koyali pipeline were laid. Ahmedabad has been linked with Koyali by pipeline for transport of petroleum products. Gas pipelines have also been laid down between Khambhat and Dhuvaran, Ankleshwar and Uttaran, and Ankleshwar and Vadora.

Gas Authority of India (GAIL) was incorporated in 1984. It operates over 4500 km of pipelines and supplies gas to power plants for generation of 4,500 MW power and to fertiliser sector for production of over 10 million metric tonnes per annum of urea. Hazira-Vijaypur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipeline has been constructed to transport gas. It is 1,750 km long and connects Hazira in Maharashtra to Vijaypur in M.P. and Jagdishpur in U.P. It supplies gas to a number of fertilizer plants, viz., Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan and Auraiya, Aonla and Shahjahanpur in U.P. It has been extended upto Delhi so that enough gas is made available to this city. GAIL is also implementing a 1246 km long LPG pipeline project from Kandla/Jamnagar in Gujarat to Luni in Uttar Pradesh via Delhi.

An important pipeline has been laid from Salaya in Gujarat to Mathura in U.P. is is 1,256 km pipeline which supplies crude oil to Mathura refinery. It has been extended to refinery at Panipat in Haryana and further to Jalandhar in Punjab. It has also been extended to Koyali refinery in Gujarat. Another pipeline connects Mumbai to Raichur and Gulbarga in Karnataka.


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