The non-stop route serviced by one of Air India's new Boeing 787 Dreamliners is the result of several years' negotiations and close cooperation between Copenhagen Airport and Air India – and not least authorities in both Denmark and India.
The Danish government has also been very active. For example, Mr. Ole Birk Olesen, Minister for Transport, Building, and Housing, visited Delhi in late February together with the management of Copenhagen Airport, and in April he met with Air India in Denmark.
"International accessibility and efficient flight connections play an important role in relation to growth and job creation in Denmark, and this is a competitive parameter when it comes to attracting businesses. So I am very pleased that Air India has decided to open a non-stop route between Copenhagen and Delhi.
This will be of major importance to Danish companies in India and will boost trade between the two countries. For Danish and Indian tourists, a direct connection will mean a faster and more pleasant journey," says Ole Birk Olesen.
A new happy partnership
Air Indias Commercial Director, Mr. Pankaj Srivastava, said at the announcement today:
“If there is one airline that is ‘happy’ to expand its network in the world’s highest ‘Happiness Index’ region, it is Air India,” said Mr. Pankaj Srivastava.
Elaborating on this the Commercial Director expressed immense pleasure and satisfaction while announcing a new non-stop flight between Delhi and Copenhagen to commence operations from 16 September 2017.
“The service will be operated by state of the art Dreamliner aircraft with thrice a week frequency linking Danish and Indian capitals,” said Mr. Pankaj Srivastava.
The Scandinavian region will now have a firm Indian footprint with Air India landing at two countries, with the airline having earlier announced a non-stop flight between Delhi and Stockholm starting mid August 2017.
As a Star Alliance member Air India will be able to work together with SAS and others, who can fly passengers from all of Northern Europe to the Scandinavian airline's hub in Copenhagen and from there on to India, Thomas Woldbye, Group CEO of Copenhagen Airport, points out, adding:
"Given its position as Northern Europe's Star Alliance hub, CPH's partnership with Air India will truly strengthen the Copenhagen hub – to the benefit of Air India, SAS and Denmark alike. And Danish tourists and companies will now have many more travel opportunities in India and Asia via Air India's hub in Delhi."
Delhi route will bring growth of a quarter of a billion DKK
Today's announcement of the new route was made at the Danish embassy in Delhi, where Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen hosted the event. The embassy has contributed very actively to bringing this route to Denmark.
"India is a key country in Asia – politically and economically," the Ambassador says. "Therefore many good forces in Denmark and here in India have worked closely together to reopen a non-stop connection between our two countries, to the benefit of growth, trade and tourism. At the same time, this is an important step in the bilateral strategic cooperation between Denmark and India."
Each new airline route creates growth and jobs throughout Denmark – especially the long-haul routes. The all-year route to New Delhi three times a week will increase Denmark's annual GDP by DKK 259 million according to a calculation model developed by Damvad Analytics.
The fact that non-stop connections promote growth is one of the reasons why a large number of Danish companies have worked with Copenhagen Airport in recent years to establish a non-stop route to Delhi.
Boosting trade relations and tourisme
In the last 10 years, Denmark's trade with India has trailed behind that of several other Northern European countries. According to CEO Michael Svane, Federation of Danish Transport, the new route may help to change that:
"A non-stop connection between India and Denmark has long been high on the wish list of Danish companies. It is gratifying that this wish will now be fulfilled. India is a very attractive market for Danish businesses and a number of companies have already set up operations there. The non-stop connection will strengthen trade between Denmark and India."
Air India's new route is also good news for the Danish tourism industry. At Wonderful Copenhagen, CEO Mikkel Aarø-Hansen sees a strong tourism potential in India's growing middle class:
"A non-stop connection from India to Copenhagen is historically good news for all of Denmark and Southern Sweden. A lot of people have been working on this for many years, and now we have succeeded. Direct access from a huge tourism market holds considerable potential for creating jobs and growth in the tourism sector. At the global level, the number of outbound Indian tourists has doubled in just a few years. And with a non-stop connection we will be able to attract a greater share of this growth in future."
- Air India will fly from CPH to Delhi on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:40 pm.
- Like SAS, Air India is a Star Alliance member. That means that SAS can fly passengers via Copenhagen to India in cooperation with Air India.
- Denmark's trade with India currently has a value of just under DKK 10 billion. The potential is much larger, according to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- India has the world's second largest population, almost 1.3 billion.
- Delhi in north-eastern India is the country's capital and the second largest city after Mumbai. At the 2011 census, the population of Delhi was found to be 16.7 million.
- Destinations visited by Danish tourists include Delhi with its many monuments, Agra with the famous Taj Mahal mausoleum, and the beautiful beaches of Goa and Kerala.