New direct flights to Mumbai from Manchester Airport have been launched.

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

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.

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”. 

Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan, 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.”  

Jet announced its Manchester-Mumbai route in May as a four-times-a-week service. Demand has been so strong, the airline increased its frequency to five-times-a-week before it had even launched, with the first flights leaving Manchester fully occupied.

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Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said: “The newly launched direct flight connection from Mumbai to Manchester is only the beginning of a new era in increased business opportunities between India and the North of England.

“The publication of this report not only highlights, but confirms our longstanding confidence in the strength of the UK India economic relationship. The time is opportune for the two countries to encourage this partnership and grow together.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Mumbai is a thriving, lively city and the launch of Manchester's first direct route there is a hugely significant development, which will see the the city and wider region grow its links with India’s financial powerhouse. 

"The better connected Manchester and the North is nationally and internationally, the better placed we will be to compete on a world stage, attracting jobs, investment and visitors. This announcement further strengthens Manchester Airport's status and Manchester's position as a global hub."