Jet Airways’ five-times-a-week service from Manchester to Mumbai took for the first time on Monday morning (5 Nov), at a celebration attended by Aviation Minister, Baroness Liz Sugg and hundreds of guests from across the region.
The route promises to unlock hundreds of millions of pounds of trade, investment and tourism benefits, according to a report released to coincide with the launch.
It follows a sustained push from Manchester Airport and regional partners to establish the first ever link between the North of England and Mumbai, driven by the increasing economic ties between the two regions and increasingly strong demand to travel between them.
It describes the North as the “ideal collaborator” with India, with its strengths in areas like digital, advanced manufacturing and energy perfectly aligning with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic priorities.
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”.
Jet Airways will fly from Manchester to Mumbai on a Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will operate on an A330-200, with 254 seats across Première (business) and economy classes.
India is the UK’s seventh largest trade partner in goods outside of 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 new jobs. That is why securing a direct service was a long-term priority for both Manchester Airport and the region, leading to the formation of an award-winning public/private body, the Manchester India Partnership (MIP), earlier this year.
The MIP was launched in both the UK and India earlier this year and is chaired by Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan, who 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.”
Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways, said, “We are happy to be the first airline to offer a non-stop, premium service between Mumbai and Manchester. The UK is a very important destination for Jet Airways and with the addition of Manchester we hope to make a further contribution to boosting tourism and trade between the two countries.”