UK airlines follow IT spice route to India

Leading UK airlines are considering offering direct flights to Bangalore, the capital of the Indian offshore IT outsourcing...

Leading UK airlines are considering offering direct flights to Bangalore, the capital of the Indian offshore IT outsourcing industry, to meet growing demand by business travellers.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic said they were looking into the option of running direct flights to Bangalore.

"There is a growth in demand [to fly to] Bangalore because of the IT market and we would love to serve that market," said a Virgin Atlantic spokesman. "However the Indian government has one of the more restrictive bilateral agreements to protect Air India and only 14 services a week are allowed between the UK and India."

A BA spokesman said it was aware of the increasing demand for business travel because more companies were using offshore outsourcing.

Demand for such services is increasing. Investment bank Goldman Sachs is to move part of its IT operations to India in a bid to reduce costs. The bank will relocate part of its IT and admin operations to an Indian centre which is due to begin operations by the end of 2004. It will employ about 250 IT and administration staff.

Goldman Sachs joins firms such as Tesco, Somerfield and BT which have relocated IT operations overseas, either directly or through a service partner.

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