Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Air India will launch nonstop service between Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). The newly announced air route, which will offer three nonstop, roundtrip flights per week, is estimated to bring in an additional 30,000 tourist and business travelers and $30 million in total economic impact annually to the National Capital Region (Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland). Air service from DEL to IAD will begin in early July of this year. Tourism marketing support will be provided by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Capital Region USA (CRUSA), and Destination DC.
“Today, we celebrate a new bridge between India and the Capital Region, showing that Virginia will continue to be open and welcoming to all international travelers,” said Governor McAuliffe, who met with Air India executives and recruited the company to Dulles during the November 2015 trade and marketing mission to India. “The Commonwealth has made a significant commitment to growing our relationship with India in recent years and we are proud to be a new United States market with nonstop service from New Delhi. I look forward to welcoming many travelers, students, and business leaders to the Commonwealth through this new partnership.”
“Now, more than ever, we celebrate D.C. values as we continue to embrace the international community and showcase the inclusiveness of the nation’s capital,” said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, speaking about the announcement. “This exciting opportunity will also be a significant driver of tourism and business in Washington, D.C. for years to come.”
In 2015, the National Capital Region welcomed more than 122,000 visitors from India, more than a 25 percent increase from 2014 visitation figures, making India the fourth largest overseas market. By 2020, arrivals from India to the U.S. are projected to increase by nearly 7 percent, making India the ninth overseas market for the U.S. Visitation to the region from India is expected to double by 2025.
“Today’s announcement is another victory from our strategic efforts to promote the Commonwealth during our international trade and marketing missions,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “India is one of Virginia’s top emerging overseas tourism markets, with visitation increasing by 11 percent between 2010 and 2015. Air India’s nonstop flights between New Delhi and Dulles provide Virginia an opportunity to increase tourist visits from India, as well as enhance our ability to recruit new foreign direct investment opportunities.”
Governor McAuliffe proposed a $1.25 million incentive package over a three-year period beginning in FY18 to support Air India and stimulate travel to Virginia through Washington Dulles International Airport. In addition, the District of Columbia plans to provide $250,000 this year to support the partnership.
“Air India plans to add 35 new aircraft in 2017 as part of its current expansion and consolidation strategy, allowing us to serve both new domestic and international destinations. The Washington, D.C. metro area will become Air India’s fifth U.S. getaway after New Year, Newark, Chicago, and San Francisco, and reinforces our commitment to providing the most convenient service between the USA and India,” commented Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India Limited.
“The addition of nonstop flights from Dulles International to India is a huge ‘win’ for business and leisure travelers alike,” said Jack Potter, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “The new nonstop capital-to-capital service on Air India will open a new level of convenience and connectivity between our two nations.”
About Virginia Tourism
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in the Commonwealth. For every dollar invested in tourism marketing, Virginia Tourism returns $7 in state tax revenue. In 2015, visitors spent $23 billion, which supported 223,100 jobs and contributed $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about Virginia Tourism Corporation, please visit www.virginia.org.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road and also manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail public transit system through Fairfax County and into Loudoun County, Virginia. More than 44 million passengers a year pass through the two airports. The Airports Authority generates more than 387,000 jobs in the National Capital Region.
About Air India
Air India occupies a special place in the global and Indian aviation scenario. It pioneered the aviation in India and its history is synonymous with the history of civil aviation in India. Air India is not a mere airline that transports passengers, baggage and cargo. It is a multi-faceted organization. The aviation infrastructure it has created over the years is a testimony of its contribution. Apart from servicing of all its aircraft in-house with its own engineering facilities, Air India also undertakes ground handling services of many airlines in many cities in India. Air India has grown to become a mega international airline with a network of 34 destinations across the USA, Europe, Australia, Far-East and South-East Asia and the Gulf. The airline’s domestic network covers over 66 destinations, including far-flung areas of the North-East, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Air India, today, flies one of the youngest, state-of-the-art, fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, its latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft. For additional information visit airindia.in and/or follow us on Facebook/airindia and on Twitter - @airindiain.