New service to India just the start for Stansted
The first ever scheduled flights to India from London Stansted Airport will take off later this month with the launch of Air India’s three-times a week service to Amritsar in the north west of the country.
Flights start on 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.
Stansted officials have stepped up talks with many other major carriers, notably in India, China and the US, and spread the gospel for the London-Stansted-Cambridge Technology Corridor in Adelaide at the World Routes Conference.
New research from Stansted and travel fare website Skyscanner recently revealed that the airport’s catchment area was responsible for more than half of all UK demand to some of the world’s most popular destinations.
More than 50 per cent of all UK searches for flights to top locations – including Beijing, Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo – originated from within the London Stansted catchment area.
The airport wants this traffic to fly out of Stansted rather than Gatwick or Heathrow.
Commenting on the India coup, Stansted CEO Ken O’Toole, said: “It is fantastic news that there will be a direct non-stop connection to Amritsar, Punjab from Stansted with Air India.
“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.
“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.”