Gatwick Airport: Southeast exports £479 billion of goods and services to India each year, as first Air India flights leave Gatwick
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These impressive trade volumes – and the jobs they support - have been given a further boost today as Air India starts flight from London Gatwick Airport. This will see 12 flights departing every week to Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Kochi and Goa.
The airport’s long-haul network – which currently serves 47 global destinations - has been shown to support the economy by facilitating increased exports and imports. The vast majority of cargo handled at the airport goes in the belly of long-haul passenger aircraft, such as these Air India flights. Cargo volumes would also double if Gatwick’s Northern Runway is brought into routine use.
The new Air India flights will also support tourism in both countries and provide convenient journeys for passengers from the large Indian communities in London and the South East, to visit friends and family in India.
Gatwick wants to invest in its long-term future and is preparing a planning application to bring the airport’s Northern Runway into regular use, for departures only, alongside its Main Runway. This low impact plan will improve resilience, reduce delays, and provide a significant boost to the regional economy by supporting trade, tourism and new jobs.
Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer, London Gatwick Airport said: “These exiting routes open up a wealth of new opportunities for our passengers.
“Some will take advantage of the wonderful cities and beaches India has to offer. Others will benefit from the multiple connections between two of the world’s largest economies, while many of our passengers will use the new routes to visit friends and family.”
Campbell Wilson, Air India Managing Director & CEO, said: “We have ambitious yet focused plans to restore Air India to its rightful place as one of the world’s foremost carriers.
“Our substantial investment in customer service, new aircraft and the brand overall will enable us to gain market share on key routes from the UK to India as well as drive more business and leisure travellers to visit India itself. We are pleased to be launching services from London Gatwick, enabling our passengers to have even more choice on how they enter India.”
Brett North, Chair, Gatwick Diamond Initiative, said: “Today’s announcement is very timely and important for the Gatwick Diamond region. As we rebuild the local economy post-Covid, establishing strong relationships across the globe will ensure the Gatwick Diamond continues to be an important business powerhouse.
“On the back of the UK-India trade relationship, which is worth £34bn to the UK economy, and the creation of a technology envoy in the Indo-Pacific region, the opportunities for businesses within the Gatwick Diamond to further develop strong trade routes to India and the wider region couldn’t come at a better time.”