Businesses moving GBP 20 billion of trade between the UK and India each year will soon have a direct link to and from the North of England with Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s new Manchester (MANM) – Delhi (DEL) service.
The route – Virgin’s first connecting the two cities – kicks off on 26 October and will see A330-200 flights every Monday, Thursday and Saturday as part of its growing commitment to the Indian market.
Last October, Virgin Atlantic commenced daily Heathrow (LHR) – Mumbai (BOM) services and, on 29 March, will introduce double daily flights to Delhi from Heathrow. This expansion comes as the airline celebrates the 20th anniversary of flying to India.
With over 100 million kilos of imports and exports moving between the UK and India by air each year – including high volumes of vegetables, fresh fruit, spices and apparel – Virgin says it is excited to be able to offer their customers more choice than ever before.
The new route will also provide quick and seamless connections for customers in the US to access India’s buoyant market. UK-India trade is valued at GBP 20 billion (EUR 23.9 billion).
Virgin Atlantic currently operates from New York JFK, Atlanta and Orlando to Manchester and will relaunch seasonal services from Las Vegas on 29 March and Los Angeles from 24 May.
Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, says: “Business opportunities between the UK and India have never been greater. India is now the world’s fifth largest economy and the UK is one of its biggest and fastest-growing trading partners for products such as technology and automotive components, pharmaceuticals and fresh produce as well as other general cargoes.
“The launch of direct flights to India from Manchester this October will give exporters and importers more choice in addition to the three times daily services we will be operating ex Heathrow, offering exciting new growth opportunities for us and our customers.”
VS318 will depart Manchester at 16:40, landing the next morning in Delhi at 06:05. The return service, the VS319, will depart on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday at 08:10 landing back at 12:10.