India was the fastest growing leading long haul market from Europe in 2018 (using seat data from OAG Schedules Analyser). Nevertheless, India is only Europe's number four long haul market and is small compared with the USA, China and Canada (despite India's population being close to China's).
Europe-India is led by Jet Airways and Air India, both of which are growing quickly. Jet launched Manchester-Mumbai in Nov-2018, and Air India's entry into Denmark and Sweden in 2017 gives it a presence in eight European markets. However, European airlines control more than half of the seats in this market and have stronger connections behind their hubs.
Bilateral constraints notwithstanding, India's long haul potential is gaining tentative recognition with recent LCC entry, a good indicator of underserved, overpriced markets.
WOW air's Dec-2018 launch of Reykjavik-Delhi is the first low cost service between Europe and India, although, due to the carrier's fleet restructuring, this service will be terminated in late Jan-2019. IndiGo is considering services to London (albeit one-stop initially) and is considering services to Istanbul.
Other operators are also starting to challenge incumbents: Alitalia launched Rome-Delhi in Nov-2017 and Air Italy launched Milan to Delhi and Mumbai in Dec-2018. In addition, LOT Polish Airlines may start what would be Central Europe's only service to India.
This CAPA India report examines data on Europe-India capacity and growth, analysed by country and by airline.