The second Air India long-haul route from London Stansted took to the skies earlier with the launch of a new three-times a week service to Mumbai.
The city is considered the financial and entertainment capital of India.
The new Mumbai service, the first ever direct link to India’s largest city from London Stansted, joins the airline’s Amritsar route which commenced less than four months ago and has already proved to be extremely popular with passengers from across London and the east of England.
The route will be served by a 256-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliner and will initially operate until the end of the winter flight schedule.
London Stansted chief commercial officer, Aboudy Nasser, said: “The launch of Air India’s new service to Mumbai is a fantastic addition to London Stansted’s route network and a real vote of confidence in the airport and the catchment area we serve coming less than four months after the airline joined us for its inaugural service to Amritsar.
“Already 200,000 people travel to India’s economic hub from our region every year, so with the added convenience of flying from their local airport saving valuable time and money by avoiding other London airports, we expect this service to be very popular with passengers.”
The Indian government recently launched a fresh bid to privatise Air India after failing to find a buyer for the debt-laden carrier in an attempt two years ago.
The struggling national airline has failed to make a profit for a number of years.
The government of Narendra Modi invited bids from potential investors in Air India and two of its subsidiaries, offering sweetened terms compared with the attempt at a sale in 2018.
Low-cost unit Air India Express and airport services company AISATS are also on the block, with a deadline for bids set for mid-March.