Route Analysis: Mumbai-Chengdu

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Indian LCC IndiGo has revived plans to open daily flights connecting Mumbai (BOM) and Chengdu (CTU). This will become the airline’s second route to the city and its third to mainland China.

The carrier originally intended to start flying between the destinations in March 2020, but the launch was postponed indefinitely because of the pandemic. However, the first flight is now slated to take off in late March, operating daily using Airbus A320 aircraft.

IndiGo entered the mainland China market in September 2019 by linking India’s capital Delhi (DEL) with Chengdu, while service between Kolkata (CCU) and Guangzhou (CAN) started the following month. Both routes operated daily until February 2020 but have remained suspended since the coronavirus spread.

According to the airline’s booking system, the two existing routes will resume on March 27 alongside the inaugural Mumbai-Chengdu service. All three will be offered daily, meaning Indigo will provide 21 India-China round trips per week and about 7,700 two-way seats.

Flights will depart Mumbai at 8.25 p.m., arriving in Chengdu at 4.20 a.m. the following day. The return service leaves at 5.20 a.m., returning to Mumbai at 8.20 a.m. The flight time is about 5 hours 30 minutes.

If the launch goes as planned, IndiGo will become the sole provider of Mumbai-Chengdu flights and the first operator between the cities in six years. Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Air China previously served BOM-CTU nonstop but ended flights in October 2015.

Chengdu is the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province and home to a population of more than 16 million people. O&D traffic between the city and India totaled 51,500 two-way passengers in 2019, Sabre Market Intelligence data reveals, up by 71% on the previous 12 months.

The increase was largely because of IndiGo’s entry to the market as the airline’s low fares and direct service stimulated demand. Aside from the LCC’s DEL-CTU route, there were no other nonstop flights between Chengdu and destinations in India during 2019.

Overall air connectivity between India and China remains severely limited because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, with OAG data showing there are no nonstop scheduled passenger flights operating between the countries during January 2022.

However, from late March China Eastern Airlines and Air China have filed plans to restart flights to Delhi from Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Beijing Capital (PEK) respectively.





Airbus A320



Start date:

March 27, 2022


3,372 km

O&D traffic demand (2019):


Annual growth (2019 vs 2018):


Average base fare (2019):


David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.