Stansted boosts global network with new Air India direct flights to Amritsar
The first ever scheduled direct flights from Stansted to India will take off at the end of October, it was announced today (Tuesday).
Air India is to fly three times a week to Amritsar, in the north west of the country. The 3,900-mile flights will take about eight hours.
Flights start on Thursday October 31 and will be the only direct service between London and Amritsar, operated by state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners offering business and economy classes.
Amritsar is in the Indian state of Punjab, 283 miles (455 km) north-west of India's capital, New Delhi. The border with Pakistan is less than 18 miles away. The city is home to the Golden Temple, one of Sikhism's most spiritually significant and most-visited gurdwaras.
Stansted’s chief executive, Ken O’Toole, hailed the "fantastic news".
"Stansted is ideally situated to serve the Asian community in north and east London and across the East of England, so we are delighted that Air India has recognised the customer demand for Amritsar," he said.
“Just last week, we published our 'Gateway to Growth' report that highlighted the strong and growing demand for long-haul services across the region. Our ambition is to use our spare runway capacity to build our long-haul route network and improve the UK’s connectivity with the rest of the world at a time when availability is in short supply across South East airports. The welcome arrival of Air India is another positive step towards that goal.
“India is an important and popular destination for UK residents, both for tourism and business interests. We look forward to working with Air India to make this route a great success and further improving the connectivity between London and India in the coming years.”
David Rooke, location services director at Invest ESSEX, said that introduction of the Stansted-Amritsar service "will be the start of a number of new direct connections".
He said: "London Stansted is positioned at the heart of the UK's Innovation Corridor, adjoining the globally renowned cities of London and Cambridge, which is home to many world-leading universities, research and development organisations, technology, life sciences and quantum technology companies.
"This new Air India route will facilitate major business opportunities in both countries and can only strengthen business trade and investment, building upon the substantial and growing Indian-owned business base in Essex."
More by this authorPaul Winspear