Flying to Asia on Business
Business travel to Asia is more common today than it ever has been. With India providing IT and call centre services to the west and Singapore being one of the financial powerhouses of the world, the necessity for flying between the United Kingdom and various parts of Asia is getting greater every day.
Business Travellers Flying in to Booming CitiesThe availability of flights varies around the continent. Starting with the areas nearest to the Middle East, the former Soviet countries of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have limited direct non-stop flights from London, mainly to service people working in the oil industry in Ashgabat or the important northern Asian trading city of Alma Ata. Other cities in those regions can be reached by flying from the UK on indirect flights, often with stopovers in Moscow or the Middle East hubs such as Dubai or Bahrain.
Coming further east there are many booming cities, particularly in India since the economy was opened up in the 1990s to direct foreign investment. As English is widely spoken, particularly in the higher education system, throughout the Indian sub-continent, business links with the UK and North America are a natural fit.
Pakistan is the best served area from the United Kingdom with flights from Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London to one or more of Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi. This is highly likely to be down to the number of people of Pakistani descent living throughout the UK who now do business in both countries as well as having families in both places.
India Benefiting from a Deregulated EconomyFor the same reasons flights are available from the United Kingdom to many of the major cities in India. Most of them are only flying from London though, with Amritsar the major exception, as direct flights there are only available from Birmingham. Delhi, the capital of India is the only city served by a regional airport, in this case Birmingham, as well as carriers flying to and from London.
Other Indian cities where air travel is possible on direct flights from the UK are Kolkata (Calcutta) Chennai (Madras), Bangalore, Mumbai (Bombay) and Ahmadabad. Many of these cities are booming after the economy was opened up in the 1990s to direct foreign investment. As English is widely spoken, particularly in the higher education system, throughout the Indian sub-continent, business links with the UK and North America are a natural fit.
Flying to Dhaka in Bangladesh is possible on direct flights from London and Manchester and in the south Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has direct flights from London. But neither of these countries sees a great deal of business travel compared to their near neighbours.
Business Travel to South East AsiaMoving further over into South-East Asia, much of the air travel tends to be more geared toward tourism than business. Singapore is the exception to this. Not only is it a major hub for flights to and from almost anywhere in the world but it is a major business destination in its own right as one of the worlds' financial capitals. Thousands of foreigners are living and working there at the offices of multinational corporations and financial institutions.
Other areas of South-East Asia see significant amounts of flying for business reasons, although to the high levels of Singapore. Bangkok in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia see a high proportion of business travel as does Brunei, on the north-eastern coast of the island once known as Borneo.