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26 July, 2006 - 07:06 By Staff Reporter

Stansted hopeful of direct passage to India

BAA Stansted executives are advancing talks with a number of carriers about launching direct services from the Essex hub to Delhi and other Indian centres.BAA Stansted executives are advancing talks with a number of carriers about launching direct services from the Essex hub to Delhi and other Indian centres.

At present passengers with Turkish Airlines can access Delhi from Stansted but indirectly. A non-stop service is seen as a priority as trade between this region of the UK and a number of territories within India gathers momentum.

A BAA spokesman told Business Weekly: “We recognise that, in the future, there will be a huge opportunity to capture a slice of the action once travel between the UK and India really opens up.

“With the addition of a second runway and our capacity set to grow to 76 million passengers a year by 2030, Stansted will be ideally placed to take advantage of travellers from India wanting to get to South East England – especially the London and Cambridge areas – as their economy grows and global reach increases.

“We also envisage huge demand for direct flights to India from executives and domestic travellers from the East and South East of England.”

As its expansion programme rolls out, Stansted will be able to accommodate millions of ethnic passengers from London’s City and East End areas as well as from other local towns renowned for their high cultural diversity.

ADI, the consortium led by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial which has acquired BAA, has confirmed its commitment to a second runway at Stansted.

ADI has also confirmed BAA’s continued commitment to the policies put forward in the Government’s 2003 Air Transport White Paper, which originally recommended the second runway at Stansted.

In addition to supporting the Stansted development, BAA’s new owners will review the plans and costings to ensure they are in line with best practice and will deliver value for money for all stakeholders. The review is expected to conclude in the autumn.

Juan Béjar, chief executive officer of Ferrovial Infraestruc-turas, S.A., said: “We have made clear our intentions so that all stakeholders in BAA’s UK airports are very clear that we are committed to the White Paper agenda and to developing Stansted’s second runway as soon as possible.

“We are reviewing the costs and plans for G2 as we would any major capital expenditure plan in the group, to ensure that it delivers value for money, but we still expect to make a planning application in summer 2007 and do not foresee any delays to the timing of the development.”

During the review, work will continue on other aspects of the project, including the environmental impact assessment and preparations for the public consultation on the road and rail access that will be required to serve a two-runway airport.

Stansted has already brought two transatlantic services on line for executive travellers through Eos Airlines and MAXjet, serving Washington and New York. Both airlines have done so well that they have expanded their services.

Eos, for example, is adding a second daily flight from Stansted to JFK in New York from September 8 on the wings of business passenger growth between the Essex hub and the Big Apple.

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