Air India inaugurates non-stop flights between Ahmedabad and London Gatwick
New Delhi: Indian airlines major Air India on Tuesday inaugurated non-stop flights between Ahmedabad and London Gatwick, the UK’s second-largest airport.
Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia flagged off the inaugural flight in a virtual ceremony. Cabinet Minister of Civil Aviation, Gujarat, Balvantsinh Rajput attended the event along with Secretary, Civil Aviation Rajiv Bansal and Air India MD & CEO Campbell Wilson.
Dignitaries and senior executives at Ahmedabad Airport were also present on the occasion.
The inaugural flight AI171 from Ahmedabad to London Gatwick departed on time at 1150 hrs, scheduled to arrive at London Gatwick at 1640 hrs (local time) today.
At the inauguration of the non-stop flights, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, said, “Today marks an important day for Ahmedabad and Gujarat, as India’s flag bearer airline, Air India, commences its direct flight from Ahmedabad, Manchester of the East, to London Gatwick. The introduction of this route will open more business avenues and further strengthen investment opportunities between the two nations. On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the entire Air India team for re-envisioning the dream of the legendary JRD Tata of making Air India a premier airline globally.”
Campbell Wilson, MD & CEO, Air India, said, “As part of our five-year transformation plan, Vihaan.AI, we aim to grow our domestic and global network significantly to improve India’s connectivity with the rest of the world. We are delighted to launch servicesfrom Ahmedabad to London Gatwick, which will continue to boost trade and tourism between the two nations and help a large number of people from the Indian diaspora stay just a flight away from Gujarat.”
It is estimated that over 8,00,000 Gujaratis call the UK their home, making the Gujarati diaspora in the UK to be, arguably, the largest in the world.
The flights between Ahmedabad and London Gatwick will be operated three times a week using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 18 Business Class and 238 Economy Class seats.
This week, in addition to flights from Ahmedabad, Air India has also launched non-stop flights to London Gatwick from Amritsar, Goa, and Kochi while increasing the frequency to London Heathrow from Delhi and Mumbai.
In total, the airline now operates 49 flights per week between India and the UK, including six flights a week to Birmingham from Delhi and Amritsar.