A PETITION has been launched by the West Midlands mayor and others addressing Air India and the Indian government to start direct flight service between Birmingham and Mumbai.
The petition tilled ‘We need a direct flight to Mumbai from Birmingham’ has been launched recently on change.org by the West Midlands mayor Andy Street CBE, former managing director of British department store John Lewis, and the West Midlands Combined Authority.
As many as 500K British Indians reside in the UK’s Midlands region with a strong presence in Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton, and other areas.
The grounded Indian airline, Jet Airways operated a direct flight service to Mumbai from Manchester. However, the service was stopped after the company halted its all operations temporarily last month following a severe financial crisis.
The British people now have to travel 185 kilometres to reach London Heathrow to fly direct to Mumbai.
Now, there is a direct flight service between Birmingham and India’s capital city- Delhi.
Street in a message on the petition wrote: “…I am really pleased there is an Air India flight to Delhi from Birmingham but if people need to go to Mumbai they have to travel to Heathrow. Given the significant business (Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Rolls Royce, Bharat Forge, Pattonair and Bombardier to name a few) links between the Midlands and India, and the strength of the diaspora, there is strong demand for a direct flight between Birmingham and Mumbai.”
“Birmingham Airport have also been working hard on creating this new route, but we need to show the feeling of the people of the Midlands when a delegation from the airport go out to India again later this month.”
A delegation led by Street last year had urged the Indian government to raise the number of flights between the Midlands and India.
Ravi Mantri who has signed the petition has stated: “At least if we could have flights arranged during peak travel times like July – September and December times, it will be a very big help to Citizens who travel to Mumbai.”
Over 780 people mostly British Indians have signed the petition stating the need for direct flight service between Mumbai and Birmingham.