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New Manchester to Mumbai route will unlock £400m economic boost for the North

5th November 2018

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The launch of a new direct flight between Manchester and Mumbai, India’s economic capital, is set to deliver a £400 million boost to the North of England.

Jet Airways’ five-times-a-week service took off for the first time this morning, following a celebration at Manchester Airport, attended by Aviation Minister Baroness Liz Sugg as well as hundreds of guests from across the region.

A study called The Northern Powerhouse and India: Unlocking the Opportunity, has been released to coincide with the inaugural flight, which predicts a £400 million economic boost to the North over the next five years that will support around 2,000 jobs.

Aviation Minister, Baroness Liz Sugg, said: “Connections like the one being launched today are key to Britain’s economic future and will help to drive economic growth and trade both here in Manchester and right across the North. Co-operation, trade and tourism with India is set to grow over the coming years, and we are committed to helping build the links we need now so that all areas of the UK can be well placed to make the most of that growing relationship.”

India is already the UK’s seventh largest trade partner in goods outside Europe and third largest exporter of services to the UK. Its current economic growth (7-8% per annum) has seen foreign direct investment into the UK create around 6,000 jobs.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport and Chair of the Manchester India Partnership (MIP), said: “The launch of this service is an important moment for Manchester Airport and the wider region. India is one of the world’s most important markets and this route will unlock huge opportunities for economic and cultural collaboration with the North.

“It underlines the importance of direct connectivity, which helps businesses export their goods and services, attracts investors to the UK and encourages tourism in both directions. I want to take this opportunity to thank Jet Airways and all those involved with the Manchester India Partnership for making this long-held ambition a reality.”

Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS - Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “We are delighted to have reached the key milestone of securing a direct flight to India’s economic capital, which is a key market in Greater Manchester’s internationalisation strategy.

“India presents significant opportunities to the city region, being the UK’s seventh largest trade partner in goods outside of Europe as well as one of the UK’s primary sources of foreign direct investment; but following the launch of this direct route to Mumbai, Greater Manchester is primed to build on the relationships it has already developed with leading Indian businesses including HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, 42 Gears, and Hero Cycles.

“A year after launching the direct route between Manchester and Beijing, we reported a 265% increase in trade and investment, which we hope to replicate after encouraging even more high growth Indian companies to invest in Greater Manchester.”

Click here to read the report in full.

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