Calls for stronger links to India Mayor urges increase in flights from Birmingham in trade visit to country
MAYOR Andy Street is hoping to see an increase in the number of flights between the West Midlands and India as a result of a trade visit to the country.
Following the Conservative Party Conference the mayor joined Communities Secretary James Brokenshire on a trade visit to India last Thursday, as part of the ‘Midlands Engine’.
The trip is intended to strengthen the Midlands-Maharashtra Technology Partnership, a regional element of the UKIndia technology partnership announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year.
Speaking from India, the mayor said that the delegation was particularly interested in increasing the number of flights between the two destinations, while also increasing trade between the two.
“This has been a fascinating and pro- ductive trip, focusing largely on two key areas,” the mayor said. “First, we have met with some of the biggest and fastest growing automotive technologies companies with a view to increasing trade links between the West Midlands and India. Secondly, we have been working with Birmingham Airport to seek to build on vital routes.
“Since 2013, 657,000 passengers have flown with Air India between the Midlands and multiple destinations, with travel between Birmingham and Delhi growing by 88 per cent in that take and travel to Amritsar by a staggering 314 per cent.
“In essence, we want to increase the frequency of flights and the launch of new services to other key cities.”
Midlands Engine ‘Champion’ James Brokenshire said that increased cooperation would only benefit businesses on either side.
And he added that, with Brexit on the horizon, now was the perfect time to strengthen ties between the two regions.
“The Midlands and Maharashtra are thriving tech hubs in their own right, and by bringing these two great regions together we are strengthening our technological and economic ties to the benefit of our people and businesses,” he said.
“Whether it’s manufacturing the latest car model or sharing ground-breaking research, there is a lot to be gained and I’m determined we make the most of the opportunities, particularly as we prepare to leave the European Union.”
We want to increase the frequency of flights and the launch of new services to other key cities Mayor Andy Street
> West Midlands Mayor Andy Street