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Jet Airways launches Manchester’s first direct flight to India

18th May 2018

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Indian airline Jet Airways is launching the North of England’s first direct service to Mumbai.

The service, which will start in November 2018 and fly four times a week, will connect businesses and leisure passengers with Mumbai and strengthen the region’s ties with the world’s fastest growing economy. It will also connect the 500,000 people of Indian origin living in the airport’s catchment area.

Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox welcomed the route saying: “From Manchester to Mumbai, Jet Airways’ only direct route between the North of England and India will strengthen connections between two major global cities and the wider Northern Powerhouse.

“More than 100 Indian companies are based in the North West alone and this route will further trade relations worth £18bn between the world’s largest and oldest democracies.”

He added: “As an international economic department, DIT will always support businesses in accessing global opportunities.”

Manchester Airport CEO and Chair of the Manchester-India Partnership Andrew Cowan said: “Securing a direct service to one of India’s major cities is the product of a lot of hard work over a long period of time to forge closer ties between Manchester and this globally significant economy.

“We have worked, along with a range of partners, to create a compelling case for why our city – and the wider North – is a great place to visit, invest in and do business with.”

He continued: “I am delighted Jet Airways have recognised this by launching what I’m sure will be a hugely popular service. Direct connectivity to the world’s most important markets is key to creating a prosperous and internationally competitive Northern economy, and a balanced and outward facing UK.

“This route will deliver a major boost to businesses looking to export to the world’s fastest-growing economy, as well as helping to attract Indian visitors and investors to the North.”

News of the service marks an early success for the Manchester-India Partnership, established earlier this year with the aim of furthering economic and cultural collaboration between the two countries.

Tim Newns, chief executive officer, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said; “As one of the founding members of the Manchester-India Partnership (MIP), along with Manchester Airport, one of the key deliverables was to secure a direct flight to India and so we are delighted to have supported the airport in achieving this key building block.

“If this new route to India’s business capital has a similar impact to the recent direct route to Beijing, we can expect major increases in trade (265% in the case of China in the first year) and investment over the coming years, made simpler by having a direct and frequent service.

“India is a key market in terms of Greater Manchester’s internationalisation strategy and Manchester Airport is already the 6th largest gateway to India in Europe. We therefore see the addition of this new route as a significant opportunity to build upon recent successful investments from major Indian companies including Hero Cycles and Tech Mahindra and will be using cultural and sporting opportunities such as the England v India T20 match at Old Trafford this July and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as well as the opening of the new South Asia Gallery at Manchester Museum as further opportunities to invite Indian companies to experience and invest in Greater Manchester.”

The route launch was backed by Trade Minister Baroness Fairhead, Manchester inward investment agency MIDAS and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The first flights will depart on November 5.

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