A second route to India is to be launched from Stansted in just three months.

Air India is to follow the introduction of flights to Amritsar with a service to the country’s economic hub of Mumbai next month.

Flights will run three times a week from February 21 initially for the winter season and will be operated by a 256-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliner with business and economy class.

Stansted chief executive Ken O’Toole said: “This new route is further evidence of the growing demand from businesses and passengers across the region for more long-haul connections from their local airport.

“We know that 200,000 people from our region travel to Mumbai every year from other airports, so this new service will not only provide greater choice but help cut down unnecessary journeys and provide a shot in the arm to the regional and national economies.”

 He added: “We have the ambition and runway capacity to open up even more exciting destinations across Asia, the Middle East and beyond to satisfy rising demand, provide greater choice for consumers and provide a vital boost to jobs and the local economy over the coming years.”

Tourism chiefs expect inbound tourism will increase as the UK is the second most popular European destination for Indian travellers.

Peter Waters, executive director of Visit East of England, said: “This latest success for Stansted airport is a great opportunity for the east of England to capitalise on the world’s second fastest-growing outbound tourism market.

“India is an untapped country for the region, particularly for the ‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’ segment and visitors looking to explore a different part of England.

“The more Stansted can develop its global networks, the faster the east of England can grow its share of overseas visitors.”