Airbus A380 In New Delhi

An Introduction To Civil Aviation & Airline Industry

This presentation gives a brief overview of Aviation as well as its various categories & sub-categories. It covers the differences between Military Aviation & Civil Aviation, and explains the sub-categories within Civil Aviation. It also explains the different types of airlines, i.e., Legacy Carriers, N0-Frills or Low Cost Carriers, and non-scheduled carriers like Charter Operators and Fractional Ownerships.

It also gives an insight into the present issues and challenges faced by the aviation industry.

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Part I: Aviation

Categories of Aviation

There are two broad categories.

1. Military Aviation :

This includes the use of aircraft & other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling warfare. This also includes aircraft used to provide logistical support & supplies to armed forces. The wide variety of military aircraft includes Bombers Fighters Fighter bombers Transports Trainers Reconnaissance Aircraft.

2. Civil Aviation :

This is the category of flying representing all non-military aviation, both private and commercial.


Most countries are members of ICAO & and most international airlines are members of IATA. They work together to establish common standards & recommended practices for civil aviation through these two agencies.

I C A O : International Civil Aviation Organisation

ICAO is a permanent aeronautical organisation of the United Nations. It was set up by the Chicago Convention, December 1944. Initially, a Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (P.I.C.A.O.) started functioned from 6 June, 1945, and it was formally established on the April 4th, 1947. ICAO has a membership of over 185 governments, who have joined for the common purpose of promoting civil aviation on a global scale.

Headquarter – Montreal, Canada. Regional Offices – Mexico City, Lima, Paris, Dakar, Cairo & Bangkok.

Objectives of ICAO :

  1. To develop principles & techniques of international air navigation;
  2. And to promote planning & development of air transport with a view to:
    1. Ensure safe & orderly growth of international civil aviation worldwide.
    2. Encourage the arts of the aircraft design and operation for the peaceful purposes.
    3. Encourage development of the airways, airports and navigation facilities for international civil aviation.
    4. Meet needs of the people of the world for safe regular, efficient and economical air transport.
    5. Prevent economic waste caused by unreasonable competition.
    6. Ensure that the rights of the contracting countries are fully respected; and that every contracting country has a fair opportunity to operate international airlines.
    7. Avoid discrimination between contracting countries.
    8. Promote safety of flight in international air navigation.
    9. Promote generally the development of all aspects of international civil aeronautics.

In addition, there several other functions are also carried out by ICAO, which are …

  1. Reduction of the customs, immigration, public health & other formalities to facilitate easier air transportation through various proposals.
  2. Providing technical assistance to states for developing civil aviation programmes as part of UNDP.
  3. Development of regional plans for ground facilities & services needed for international flying.
  4. Dissemination of air transport statistics and studies on aviation economics.
  5. Promoting the development of the air law conventions.

ICAO – Freedoms of the Air :

These are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country’s airline (s) the privilege to enter and land in another country’s airspace / territory in respect of scheduled international air services. These freedoms were established at the Chicago Convention, and are exchanged at the state level either on bilateral or multilateral basis.

First Freedom

The right to overfly a country without landing. It grants the privilege to fly over the territory of a treaty country without landing. E.g. Air India flight from Delhi to London will have to pass through airspace of several Asian, Middle Eastern & European Countries.

Second Freedom

The right to stop in a country for refueling or maintenance on the way to another, without transferring passengers or cargo (making a technical halt only.These rights are not commonly exercised by most passenger carriers today because the newer generation aircraft are capable of flying for very long hours. However, these are still widely used by air cargo carriers, and are more or less universal between countries.

Third Freedom

It was the First Commercial Freedom – The right to carry passengers or cargo from one’s own country to another. E.g. Air India carrying passengers, cargo & mail from Delhi to London.

Fourth Freedom

The right to carry passengers or cargo from another country to one’s own. E.g. Air India carrying passengers, cargo & mail between London & Delhi. Third and fourth freedom rights are almost always granted simultaneously in bilateral agreements between countries.

Fifth Freedom

The right to carry passengers or cargo from one’s own country to a second country, and from that country to a third country. E.g. Air India carrying passengers, cargo & mail from Delhi to London, and also uplifting traffic from London to New York.

For more detailed information, please refer to the ICAO website.

I A T A – International Air Transport Association

Founded in Havana, Cuba, in 1945, IATA is an association of airlines providing scheduled International services. It brings together approximately 265 airlines, including the world’s largest ones. Flights by these airlines comprise 94 percent of all international scheduled air traffic.

IATA provides a forum where interline agreements, other commercial agreements, as well as tariffs are agreed upon. It makes continual efforts to ensure that people, freight & mail can move around the vast global airline network seamlessly – as easily as if they were on a single airline in a single country.

IATA’s membership is open to any airline operating scheduled air transport services. There are two broad levels of membership – Active members – who operate international routes; and Associate members – who operate domestic routes only.

The Members’ involvement is by way of:

  1. Trade Association: Participation is mandatory and embraces all non-commercial aspects of civil aviation, like Technical, Legal, Security, etc.
  2. Tariff Coordination: Participation, which is optional and involves negotiations of international fares and rates.

The basic source of authority in IATA is the Annual General Meeting in which all active members have an equal vote. The year-round policy direction is provided by an elected Executive Committee. The actual work is carried out by its financial, legal, technical and traffic committees.

The coordination of Fares and Rates agreements are entrusted to the IATA Tariff Coordination Conference, with separate meetings considering passenger and cargo matters. Day to day administration of IATA is carried out in a nine member Executive Management Board, headed by a Director General. IATA has two main offices, one in Montreal, Canada, and the other in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more detailed information, please refer to the IATA website.

Civil Aviation Categories

There are two main categories of Civil Aviation:

Scheduled Air Transport, which Includes all passenger & cargo flights operating on regular routes as per a published schedule; AND

General Aviation , which includes all other civilian flights, private or commercial, which do not operate as per a published schedule.

Scheduled Air Transport

Airline : An enterprise that provides air transport services for passengers or freight. It generally holds a recognized operating certificate or license. It may lease or own it’s aircraft for providing these services. It may also form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit.

Scheduled Carriers :

This is an air transport enterprise that offers or operates regular air service / services; For the general public; Between various points; and operates according to a published timetable. This category may include Legacy or Full Service Carriers OR LCC / No-Frills / Budget Carriers.

  • Legacy / Full Service Carriers :
  • Legacy / Full Service Carriers

A legacy is something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past. A legacy carrier is an established airline that functions as per the older systems of airline operation. It follows traditional business models. It typically follows standard airline infrastructure and hierarchy. This includes different classes, frequent flier programs, meals & snacks service, etc. It may belong to an alliance or partnership. E.g – Air India, Jet Airways etc.

Short-Haul / Regional Operators :

These are airlines operating scheduled services on sectors that have a shorter duration of flying; flights are usually of less than two hours duration. They mostly operate in a specific region and do not offer services outside the region. E.g. Paramount Airways.

Low-Cost / Budget / No-Frills Carriers :

These are  airlines that offer generally lower fares. They eliminate many traditional passenger services in order to keep their operating costs low. The flights are operated with quick turn-around times in order to maximise aircraft utilisation. They provide basic single-class services. Meals generally not served on such flights but may be available on extra payment.

E.g. Spicejet / Indigo / Go Air / Jet Konnect

General Aviation

This category includes:

Non-Scheduled Operators – These are air transport enterprise that offer air transport services to the public. However, the flights are not operated according to a regular or published schedule. It may be noted here that both scheduled and non-scheduled airlines can offer non-scheduled services. However, non-scheduled operators cannot offer scheduled services. The largest sub-category under General Aviation is Air Charter Operators. An Air Charter is the business of renting out an entire aircraft. They do not sell individual aircraft seats, whereas airlines specialize in selling transportation by the seat. E.g. TajAir, Raymond, Trans-Bharat Aviation etc.

The focus of charter operators is on individual private aircraft and itineraries. They are also used for urgent or time-sensitive freight / cargo; air ambulance and any other form of ad hoc air transportation.

Fractional Ownership – The newest concept in General Aviation is that of Fractional Ownership, which literally means a fractional ownership of aircraft – shares in an aircraft are held by several private investors. This allows corporates and individuals to fly when and where they want to, in the comfort of a private aircraft. They offer their members a guaranteed minimum annual flying time, depending upon the proportion of the fractional shares held. E.g. Club One Air.

The members are required to share the monthly management cost, and they also pay for direct operating cost as and when they fly. However, there are no ownership responsibilities or liabilities on members.

Helicopter Services – These are often used in congested or isolated areas where fixed-wing aircraft cannot take off or land. Such services can be operated by companies on both, scheduled and non-scheduled basis, as well as on charter basis.

Cargo Carriers – These are companies engaged in operating air services exclusively for the purpose of carrying freight (cargo & mail).

Disclaimer: This presentation was prepared for educational purposes only, with information drawn from various websites of aviation organisations. The information contained in the presentation was current at the time when it was first uploaded on Authorstream. For current information, please log on directly to the respective websites of ICAO, IATA, Civil Aviation Minsitry, DGCA, BCAS, or the airline concerned.


  1. i cant download this ppt.pls can u send me a copy of this on my email.

  2. Tracey Bailey

    I cannot download your powerpoint presentation. I am hereby requesting a copy to be sent to my email.. thank you so much.

  3. Hi Tracey. I have emailed it to you. Regards.

  4. Hi Rajiv,

    I was wondering if i could please have a copy of this excellent presentation. Many thanks

  5. Hi Gary. You can register on the site and download the pdf file. In case you have any problems downloading, please let me know. Thanks & Regards. Rajiv

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  8. Dear Mr. Rajiv

    I find your presentation is very useful for me. But I can not download it. Would you please send me through my email. Thank you so much, Mr. Rajiv!!!!

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  9. @ shenming – I have mailed the pdf file to you. Regards.

  10. Sir,
    Find your presentation excellent.Its very useful for study purpose so i would like to have one copy of your presentation.would like to request you kindly send on given mail- saurabh_itft@rediffmail.com
    Yours sincerely,

  11. @saurabh – Hi. I have mailed the pdf file to you. Regards.

  12. I can’t download the presentation. Please let me know how can I get the PPt

  13. @msruf225 – Hi. I regret the presentation is available for download only as pdf, not ppt. You need to be registered and logged in to download any file. In case you face any difficulty, pleas let me know and I will mail the file to you as attachment.

    Thanks & Regards.


  14. I cannot download your powerpoint presentation. please sent it to my email.. thank you so much.

  15. @egemenc – Hi. As requested, the pdf file has been mailed to you. Regards.

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  19. I cant seem to be able to download the aviation presentation would you be kind enough to send it to my email.. Please.. appreciate it!

  20. Sir,
    your presentation excellent.Its very useful for study purpose so i would like to have one copy of your presentation.would like to request you kindly send on given mail- ase.pramod@gmail.com
    Yours sincerely,

    • Hi Pramod,

      Simply scroll down to the bottom of this page and log in using any of the social log-in options provided. Once you are logged in, you will be able to download the presentation in PDF format.

      Thanks & Regards

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