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By Seb Thompson, Manchester Airport Press Office Manager
Manchester Airport added a route to Mumbai on November 5th 2018 with Jet Airways. Connecting the northern hub to the economic heart of India. I was lucky enough to lead the first press trip out of Manchester to Mumbai alongside the airline, and we may have all started off as business associates, but after the intense and enthralling five days together all left as friends. My review of the destination can be found here, with this piece focussing on the inflight service.
The six of us all met in check in bright and early on a cold Monday morning for our Asian adventure and we were given a great welcome by Jet Airways. After spending some time in the airport Escape Lounge, we eagerly and excitedly boarded our eastbound flight to Mumbai.
The service starts as soon as you board, with a well presented friendly crew to show you to your seat and the offer of a nice refreshing drink and hot towel. Prior to take off the attentive crew also take an order for drinks once we are in the air. Celebrating our first trip to India the bulk of us ordered a nice glass of champagne to start the trip in style. The nine-hour journey got off right on time as we pushed back at 9.35am.
We were lucky enough to sit in business class, which Jet Airways call Première. There’s 18 Première seats on our A330-200 to Mumbai, with a further 236 seats in economy. After take-off the crew came round with an extensive menu, which features Jet Airways’ “Dine Anytime” menu.
It comes with a host of options, western and Indian….I thought, when in Rome….so went for the Indian choice.
The food was exquisite! I started with a very delectable celeriac and pear soup that tantalised every tastebud. This was followed by a delicious chicken dish called Adraki Nimbu Murgh and I had a chocolate ice cream for dessert.
The joy of the “Dine Anytime” menu means you can pick and choose exactly what you eat, when you want it. This is great for people on connecting flights (who may have just had a meal on a previous flight) or for those who simply might not be hungry when everyone else is.
To wash the culinary concoctions down there is an extensive drinks list too on board. This ranges from cocktails, wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks, to Jet Airways’ exclusive chai list. With a wealth of different teas, it has something suitable for everyone’s taste.
After lunch I thought I would relax with a movie or two. Not having flown Jet Airways before I was unsure what its entertainment would be like. There was no need to worry. It had scores of films (old and new), TV shows, documentaries, TED talks and enough music to while the hours away. I settled for an old comedy – A Fish Called Wanda, followed by a James Bond classic. The crew even come round with a cute little box of popcorn to munch on while you watch.
Post movie it was time for a snack, which again was another taste sensation and preparing my taste buds for the culinary delights I would get to experience when we land in India.
With a few hours to go before we landed in Mumbai I thought I would have a nap. Jet Airways’ Première seats go fully flat and the crew will even put on a mattress for you to make it more like a bed. There is even a massage function to help you drift off to sleep 38,000 feet in the air.
Upon waking my drink had already been replenished by the attentive crew and moments later myself and the journalists were asked to pop to the galley. On arrival the whole crew were there who had a cake for us and lovely notes to welcome us to India and thank us for flying. A really lovely touch.
We landed 30 minutes early into the metropolis of Mumbai and the ground staff waiting for us were equally as helpful and caring as the cabin crew.
Having been lucky enough to fly with lots of long haul airlines, in both business and economy, Jet Airways is definitely up there as a new favourite and a great way to access India and beyond.
Need to know:
Jet Airways fly five times a week to Mumbai from Manchester Airport. It makes Manchester the only airport outside of London with a direct service to the economic heart of India. Using an Airbus A330-200, Jet Airways has 254 seats across Première (business) and economy classes.
Economy return fares (Manchester-Mumbai) are from £491 and Première (business class) £1,558 (December 2018). See www.jetairways.com for more information.