The North of England’s first ever direct flights to India’s financial capital Mumbai will begin in November.

Indian airline Jet Airways announced it will operate a four flights per week service from Manchester, with a flight time of approximately 10 hours 35 minutes.

Not only does it mark the first non-stop route from Manchester to Mumbai, but it’s also Jet Airways’ first direct service between the UK and India.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the new route will “strengthen connections between two major global cities and the wider Northern Powerhouse”.

More than half a million people of Indian origin live in northern England, while over 100 Indian companies have bases across the region.

The flights follow the launch of the Manchester-India Partnership created earlier this year to boost links.

Manchester Airport chief executive Andrew Cowan said: Securing a direct service to one of India’s major cities is the product of a lot of hard work over a long period of time to forge closer ties between Manchester and this globally significant economy.

“We have worked, along with a range of partners, to create a compelling case for why our city – and the wider North – is a great place to visit, invest in and do business with. I am delighted Jet Airways have recognised this by launching what I’m sure will be a hugely popular service, not least for the 500,000 people of Indian origin living across the North.

“Direct connectivity to the world’s most important markets is key to creating a prosperous and internationally competitive Northern economy, and a balanced and outward facing UK. This route will deliver a major boost to businesses looking to export to the world’s fastest-growing economy, as well as helping to attract Indian visitors and investors to the North. We look forward to working with Jet Airways on launching the Mumbai service in the months ahead.”

Jet Airways will initially fly from Manchester to Mumbai on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday using an A330-200 aircraft with 254 seats.

Return journeys start from £400 in economy, and although the new route doesn’t take off until 5 November 2018, those thinking of flying can already book seats by visiting the Jet Airways website.

Furthermore, the flight also provides a connection to nearly 35 hotspots including the likes of Kolkata, Delhi, Goa and Jaipur to name a few.

Similarly, quick connections to beyond points on Jet Airways’ international network such as Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dhaka and Kathmandu, will now be available.

Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways said: “We are extremely pleased to begin a new chapter in our decade-long relationship with the United Kingdom.

“The new service will bring Manchester into our global network, reinforcing our global footprint, as well as expanding the choice of connectivity to and from the United Kingdom for our guests with the four days a week, non-stop service.

“With the new flight, Jet Airways will have over 8,000 seats on offer every week, making it increasingly convenient for both business and leisure travellers to travel between the UK and India. This will deepen both commerce and tourism ties between the two countries”.