Virgin Atlantic to return to India following £300m investment

Virgin Atlantic to return to India following £300m investment

Virgin Atlantic has confirmed it will invest up to £300 million in a programme of flights to India.

The launch of two new A330 aircraft with the latest Upper Class product on routes from London Heathrow to both Delhi and Mumbai represents a record product investment in the region for the airline.

The move will also create 140 new jobs across India and the UK.

The restarting of the Mumbai route following a four year absence will double capacity to India for Richard Branson’s airline - with daily services to both key markets.

One million people fly between Mumbai and the UK each year, with the market increasing by ten per cent in the last two years alone.

With India’s economy remaining one of the fastest growing in the world, Virgin Atlantic expects passenger numbers to continue to rise.

Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, said: “We are delighted to be back in this amazing city after four years.  The importance of strengthening the connections between the economies of New York, London and Mumbai cannot be emphasised enough – our daily connecting service from Mumbai all the way to New York will be a winner for businesses across all three continents.

“Given the importance of both of our Indian markets we are introducing our newest aircraft on flights to both Mumbai and Delhi which represents hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and will create many new jobs.”

The investment from Virgin Atlantic reflects the importance of India’s growing economy.

After a double digit rise in India’s GDP in 2010, projections are for a further seven per cent increase for each of the next five years. 

UK exports of goods and services to India have risen more than threefold in the past decade with over £1 billion in clothing and accessories imported in 2011 alone.

The UK Government wants to double trade links with India by 2015.