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Manchester to Mumbai route takes off

The launch of new direct flights to Mumbai, India’s economic capital, is set to deliver a £400m boost to the North.

Jet Airways’ five-times-a-week service takes off for the first time this morning, at a celebration attended by Aviation Minister, Baroness Liz Sugg and hundreds of guests from across the region.

The route will unlock hundreds of millions of pounds of trade, investment and tourism benefits, according to a report released to coincide with the launch.

It follows a sustained push from Manchester Airport and regional partners to establish the first ever link between the North of England and Mumbai, driven by the increasing economic ties between the two regions and increasingly strong demand to travel between them.

The study, called The Northern Powerhouse and India: Unlocking the Opportunity, predicts an economic boost to the North of at least £400m in the next five years.

It describes the North as the “ideal collaborator” with India, with its strengths in areas like digital, advanced manufacturing and energy perfectly aligning with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic priorities.