Air India launches direct flights from Stansted to Mumbai

Plans for Stansted Airport's expansion were apprived on January 24, which mean eight million more pe

Plans for Stansted Airport's expansion were apprived on January 24, which mean eight million more people could fly from there annually Picture: TIM WINTER - Credit: TIM WINTER

Stansted Airport passengers in Essex will now be able to fly directly to India’s biggest city - Mumbai.

The route will fly three times a week from Friday, February 21 for the winter season, using a 256-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The route is a first for Stansted - and the news comes just three weeks after the airport started its Amritsar service with Air India.

The news has been welcomed by business leaders and tourism chiefs who say the new link will generate significant trade and tourism opportunities.

"With London Stansted sitting in one of the most vibrant, exciting and innovative regions in the UK, it should come as no surprise that Air India has decided to launch this new service to one of the world's most important economic hubs," said Ken O'Toole, London Stansted's CEO.

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"As a forward-thinking and innovative airport, we have the ambition and runway capacity to open up even more exciting destinations across Asia, the Middle East and beyond to satisfy rising demand, provide greater choice for consumers and provide a vital boost to jobs and the local economy over the coming years."

The new route will also benefit the 200,000 people from Stansted's catchment area who currently travel to Mumbai each year from other UK airports.

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Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said the "ability to fly direct from Stansted will be of real benefit to Essex Chambers' members as we look to the UK growing its overseas markets".

While David Rooke, location services director at Invest ESSEX, said: "We are delighted to hear that London Stansted Airport will now be providing a direct flight to Mumbai.

"Mumbai is India's key economic powerhouse with a population of nearly 20 million people.

"It accounts for more than 6% of India's economy and is home to some of India's largest consumer packaged goods companies like Hindustan Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nivea, Colgate-Palmolive, Godrej Consumer Products and many more.

Sunil Shah, CEO of o2h ventures, a leading investment firm based in Cambridge, also welcomed the new route.

"This is great news for me personally and for the team at o2h Ventures," said Sunil.

"Flying to Mumbai previously meant travelling from other UK airports but the new direct service from Stansted will save us several hours commuting time."

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