Manchester spreads its wings.
New routes to Africa and Asia
In the space of just four days Manchester Airport announced two new routes which tap into markets which before were somewhat lacking.
Ethiopian Airlines announced a new four weekly service to Addis Ababa starting 1st December. The airline will use one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a two class configuration.
Manchester Airport sees this as a landmark route into the heart of Africa, underlining its pivotal role in connecting the North to the world’s most important markets as the route will unlock connections to more than 58 destinations across the African continent.
It will serve as a key trade route for Northern businesses, opening up fresh export opportunities and delivering cost and journey time savings to those already operating there.
The service will start on December 1, initially transiting via Brussels. It will leave Manchester at 19:00, arriving at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 06:00, providing significant onward connectivity options from the African hub. On the return it departs Addis Ababa at 00:45 and arrives in Manchester at 06:55.
Just four days later there was more good news. This time with the anouncment that Jet Airways is to start a 4x weekly direct service to Mumbai, India. Thereby making it the North’s first ever direct flight service to India’s economic capital with both the airline and the airport hailing it a milestone in the UK’s relations with one of the world’s most important economies.
Jet Airways has announced that the service will start on November 5th this year, with the route tipped to deliver a major economic boost to the Northern economy.
The four-times-a-week service will put business and leisure passengers across Manchester Airport’s catchment area in easy reach of the world’s fastest-growing economy. Flights will initially fly from Manchester to Mumbai on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and will operate an A330-200, with 254 seats, on the route.
It will deliver a boost to the more than 500,000 people of Indian origin living across the North, with the service set to go live ahead of the annual Diwali festival.
And the route will open-up to the North to millions of Indian tourists, who will be attracted by its sporting cultural and natural assets.
The news has been welcomed by Secretary of State for International Trade.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said: “From Manchester to Mumbai, Jet Airways’ only direct route between the North of England and India will strengthen connections between two major global cities and the wider Northern Powerhouse. More than a hundred Indian companies are based in the North West alone and this route will further trade relations worth £18bn between the world’s largest and oldest democracies.
Manchester is also moving ahead with its ambitious transformation project, MANTP, which, when complete, will provide passengers from this northern gateway with a whole new experience.