AN airport has struck a deal which will see it offer direct flights to a major Indian city.

Passengers can now fly directly from Stansted Airport to the capital, Mumbai, after bosses teamed up with Air India.

The new Mumbai service is a first for Stansted and will be served by a 256-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Airport bosses have become accustomed to working with Air India ever since they struck a deal over a new service to another Indian city, Armistar, four months ago.

Bosses say the service has already proved to be "extremely popular" with passengers from across London and the east of England.

Chief commercial officer Aboudy Nasser said: “The launch of Air India’s new service to Mumbai is a fantastic addition to London Stansted’s route network and a real vote of confidence in the airport and the catchment area we serve coming less than four months after the airline joined us for its inaugural service to Amritsar.

"Already 200,00 people travel to India’s economic hub from our region every year, so with the added convenience of flying from their local airport saving valuable time and money by avoiding other London airports, we expect this service to be very popular with passengers as we continue to build our successful and growing relationship with Air India at London Stansted."

The deal between Stansted and Air India has been welcomed by businesses in the east.

Speaking at the announcement of the service, Sunil Shah CEO of o2h ventures, a leading investment firm based in Cambridge, said: "This is great news for me personally and for the team at o2h Ventures.

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

"Mumbai is rated amongst the top 10 centres for commerce and is known as the commercial capital of India so I’m confident the new route will help facilitate business opportunities for companies in both countries."