Birmingham calls for direct flights to India!!

Paul Kehoe CEO of Birmingham Airport and Mike Whitby leader of
Birmingham City Council with representives of the region's business
community and supporters of the Fly India campaign
A 20,000 signature petition is today being delivered to the Indian Government’s
Minister for Civil Aviation in Delhi to show the strong demand in the Midlands for
the reintroduction of direct non-stop flights between Birmingham and India.
However, the two bosses leading the campaign say that there’s still much more
that can be done and are urging the region’s business and Asian communities to
get behind their "Fly India" campaign to help them reinstate direct non-stop services
Councillor Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council and organiser of the
initial petition delivered today, explains, “The response received following the
launch of my petition last October has been tremendous, with more than 20,000
signatures already received and the petition is now en route to India.
Nevertheless, I am now working with the Airport to give the Fly India campaign
another push and gain even more support so that we can demonstrate, with
little doubt, the overwhelming demand for direct flights
between Birmingham and India"
“The potential economical, social and cultural benefits to be reaped if these
flights were in place would be significant and would be a real demonstration of
the natural links that exist between Birmingham, the Midlands and India. It is
also key to our status as a truly Global City in developing our ever-growing ties
with the emerging markets in India and the wider sub-continent"
“What we need now is for the Indian community and businesses to get behind
this campaign to ensure we send a powerful message to those airlines that are
able to provide direct flights, such as Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher“
The Midlands Asian market speaks for itself. There are 1.3m Indian people living
in England and the city of Birmingham alone has five times as many Indians as the
city of Manchester. Outside of London, the West Midlands has more Indians living
within it than any other region in England, with 15% of England’s total, some
200,000 people
Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport adds, “I’ve been the Chief Executive of
the Airport now for over a year and I still find it incredible that although there
are around 350,000 people of Indian origin living in the one hour catchment
of the Airport, there hasn’t been a direct flight to India since October 2008"
“To secure its slots at Heathrow, Air India sadly moved its Delhi-Amritsar
-Birmingham-Toronto in 2008 to the capital. During its three years at
Birmingham however, demand was never a problem. In fact, in the last year
of operation alone it carried 100,000 people between Amritsar, Delhi,
Birmingham and Toronto and its load factors were often more than 85% full
“We therefore want to give the power back to the community by asking them
to support our campaign and give us the evidence so we can show prospective
airlines and the Indian authorities that there’s a compelling case – both
economic and social – for services to be reintroduced.”

To support the campaign please go to -
and sign the petition and make a comment or
become a fan of the Fly India facebook page at -
Thursday 25 March 2010


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