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District Joins Virginia to Announce Air India Nonstop Service to Washington Dulles Airport

Friday, February 3, 2017
New route will bring estimated $10 million in economic impact to DC annually, increase tourism between two international capitals

Joaquin McPeek (202) 445-9765; [email protected]

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Muriel Bowser and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe with Air India and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority today announced nonstop service between Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). The new route, which will offer three nonstop, roundtrip flights per week starting in July, is estimated to bring $10 million to the District in total economic impact and $30 million annually to the region.

“Now, more than ever, we celebrate DC values as we continue to embrace the international community and showcase the inclusiveness of the nation’s capital,” said Mayor Bowser. “This exciting opportunity will also be a significant driver of tourism and business in Washington, D.C. for years to come."

The Bowser Administration worked closely with Governor McAuliffe of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Air India to attract this new service. This collaboration demonstrates the value of states and municipalities working together to benefit the broader Washington, D.C. capital region.

“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. “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.”

The District of Columbia plans to provide $250,000 in fiscal year 2017 to support the new partnership. In addition, Governor McAuliffe proposed a $1.25 million incentive package over a three-year period beginning in fiscal year 2018 to support Air India and stimulate travel to Virginia through Washington Dulles International Airport.

“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.”

In 2015, Washington, D.C. welcomed 80,000 visitors from India, making it D.C.’s sixth largest overseas market. Visitation from India to Washington, D.C. has grown 40% since 2013, when it ranked ninth. Also in 2015, one out of every 10 Indian visitors to the U.S. visited the capital region. An estimated 30,000 tourists and business travelers will visit the region on this new flight annually.

“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,” said Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani. “The Washington, D.C. Metro Area will become Air India's fifth USA gateway after New York, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco, and reinforces our commitment to providing the most convenient service between the United States and India.”

Tourism marketing support will be provided by Destination DC and Virginia Tourism Corporation, two key regional tourism and convention bureaus.