THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT is home to globally recognised companies in pharmaceuticals, steel and information technologies. A growing voice on the international stage, it is justifying its status as one of the BRIC nations with the muscle to dominate longterm world economic development.
The historic changes unfolding have placed India in a unique position. How it develops its human potential and forges a blueprint for growth in towns and cities will shape the country in the 21st century.
But the challenges are immense, for more than 400million of the 1.3billion population live in poverty. Huge investment is needed to create jobs and housing, upgrade the infrastructure to meet soaring aspirations, reduce inequality, and make towns and cities more environment-friendly.
All of the above offers significant opportunities for UK plc. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has already set the bar high, with a target of doubling our trade with India – comprising non-ferrous metals, powergenerating and electrical equipment, scientific instruments and business and financial services – if not this year, then within the foreseeable future.
Now, says UKTI, there are more opportunities in finance, healthcare, infrastructure, energy efficiency, and vocational skills and education.
All the destinations in our survey can be accessed direct from the UK, with the exception of Ahmedabad, which is easily reached via the Middle East. Whatever the routing, UK companies can look forward to increased sales and investment on the burgeoning Indian subcontinent.
From London Heathrow, British Airways and Jet Airways fly to Mumbai twice-daily, and Air India daily. Daily services from continental Europe include Air France from Paris Charles de Gaulle and Lufthansa out of Frankfurt and Munich. Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Oman Air and Emirates offer a combined total of more than 90 flights a week to Mumbai from their Gulf bases.
BA and Air India both serve Delhi twice a day from Heathrow, with Jet Airways and Virgin flying daily. Air India also has a daily departure from Birmingham. A similar frequency is offered by Air France out of Paris CDG, KLM from Amsterdam Schiphol and Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Munich. Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Oman Air provide double-daily flights from Bahrain, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Muscat respectively, while Emirates serves the Indian capital 28 times a week departing Dubai.
Air India and BA both fly from Heathrow to Bangalore daily. Air France has six services a week from Paris CDG and Lufthansa a daily departure out of Frankfurt. Qatar Airways, Etihad and Oman Air fly to Bangalore daily from the Gulf, and Emirates provides a thrice-daily schedule from Dubai.
The only direct service to Hyderabad from the UK is BA’s daily departure from Heathrow. The alternative is flying via the Gulf. Gulf Air and Qatar Airways fly to Hyderabad daily from Bahrain and Doha respectively, Etihad and Oman Air have double-daily services out of Abu Dhabi or Muscat, and Emirates offers three flights a day from Dubai.
There are no direct flights from the UK to Ahmedabad. The alternative is via the Gulf and continuing on with Qatar Airways from Doha or Etihad out of Abu Dhabi, both offering daily connections. Emirates provides 11 departures a week from Dubai.
The only direct flight from the UK to Chennai is BA’s daily service from Heathrow. Lufthansa has the same frequency out of Frankfurt. Gulf Air and Qatar Airways fly daily and double-daily services are provided by Etihad and Oman Air.
India has one of the world’s largest rail networks, carrying over eight billion passengers a year. While it’s worth taking a short trip for the experience, business visitors with a multi-destination itinerary will opt for air travel. India’s booming economy has led to a growing number of domestic airlines, with low-cost carriers at the forefront of development. The main airlines offer a vast choice of domestic destinations across the subcontinent: Air India flies to 51, Jet Airways to 73. These are supplemented by the likes of lowcost carriers Air India Express, IndiGo, GoAir, AirAsia India and SpiceJet, which offers low fares to 46 points around India.
Information correct at time of publication: October 2015