More flights to UK may boost tourism

British deputy high commission, Bengaluru is expecting a significant influx of tourists into the United Kingdom as Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is likely to operate about 19 direct flights per week to London from next month.

“Airline capacity between Bengaluru and the United Kingdom is at an all-time high since Covid-19 pandemic; scheduled seat capacity on non-stop flights from India to the UK is 33% higher in the first eight months of 2024 than in 2019,” the commission said after having factored in advance bookings as well.

With Virgin Atlantic and Air India starting direct routes between Bengaluru and London next month, in addition to the existing one operated by British Airways, the commission is estimating that Indian tourists will be a billion-pound market for the UK by 2025, reported Times of India.

In 2023, Indians accounted for 26% of visit visas granted, while the Chinese were 21%. This year so far, visitor visas for Indian nationals increased by 22%. The commission shared that in 2023, Indians were granted the most student visas. In all, over 8,50,000 visas were given to Indians that year, including half-a-million tourist visas.

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