Andy Street calls for direct flights to Mumbai

Andy Street calls for direct flights to Mumbai

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The mayor of the West Midlands has called for a direct flight between Birmingham and Mumbai.

Andy Street is petitioning both Air India and the Indian Government to install the route, with hundreds already backing his campaign.

It comes after the former John Lewis boss met India’s aviation minister last year to make the business case for the direct route.

Currently there is a direct flight between Birmingham and Delhi, but those wanting to travel to Mumbai from the Midlands need to make the 185km journey south to London Heathrow.

Jet Airways used to operate a direct flight to Mumbai from Manchester but this stopped when the airline collapsed.

Mr Street said: “The Midlands serves a large Indian community of nearly 500,000 people, with significant populations in Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton, Nottingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

“I am really pleased there is an Air India flight to Delhi from Birmingham but if people need to go to Mumbai they have to travel to Heathrow. Given the significant business (Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Rolls Royce, Bharat Forge, Pattonair and Bombardier to name a few) links between the Midlands and India, and the strength of the diaspora, there is strong demand for a direct flight between Birmingham and Mumbai.

“As well as the business case there is also the personal case, as the new route will allow thousands of families to reconnect far easier with family and friends in India.

“The Midlands and India have a wonderful relationship, but it is time we strengthened that with a new route.”

The mayor’s petition, which can be found on change.org, has garnered more than 930 signatures at the time of writing.

One of them, Petro Nicolaides, said: “I believe the links between the West Midlands and Mumbai for both trade and the diaspora are essential for both regions.

“The need and demand warrants a direct flight.”

Titiksha Shah added: “I am a regular traveller to Mumbai for business and would be very pleased to have a direct flight.”

To sign Mr Street’s petition, visit www.change.org/p/air-india-we-need-a-direct-flight-to-mumbai-from-birmingham

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