By Trevor Baratko
The capital of the free world and the second most-populous nation on Earth. One would think, in 2015, there would be a nonstop flight between the two.
One would be wrong.
Not one nonstop flight between Washington’s Dulles International Airport and an Indian city exists, but officials with Dulles, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Commonwealth of Virginia are looking to change that.
Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce Maurice Jones says the state and MWAA are exploring how to lure a nonstop-to-India carrier from Dulles, an effort that will include a delegation trip to the nation in the fall.
“I’ll say this, and probably get in trouble for it, but we’re planning a trip to India in October,” Jones said at the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Economy in late May. “We do not have direct service from Dulles to India. It’s time, and we have to work on that.”
Mark Treadaway, the airports authority vice president of air service development, confirmed Dulles is hoping to land a nonstop route to India, although he was quick to point out the airport’s carriers already offer numerous one-stop flights to India.
A nonstop route from Dulles to Indian destinations like Mumbai or Delhi could save travelers five or six hours one way, Treadaway said.
Dulles operators’ 2014 courtship of Air China is an example of what the process to lure new India routes could look like, Treadaway said. Last year, Dulles began offering four nonstop flights to Beijing each week, an endeavor estimated to bring nearly 16,000 more visitors to the region and generate $14 million in visitor spending annually, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office.
“This nonstop flight will unite businesses, families, friends and universities, and will provide a seamless method for Chinese travelers to visit Virginia [the] and Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” McAuliffe said at the time.
A similar mindset is likely in play with India, but the McAuliffe administration, beyond Jones’ remarks, is keeping hush on the new campaign.
“We don’t comment on ongoing economic development projects,” McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said. “… Obviously [the governor] believes it would be a good thing for Virginia, but we can’t discuss what we are or aren’t doing there at this time.”
State Del. David Ramadan (R-87th), a Northern Virginia businessman, regularly conducts business in India and the Middle East. He said a nonstop flight from Dulles to India would be “very advantageous” for corporate travelers. …Read More
By Rachel Weiner
When it comes to attracting minority voters, Republicans are starting to catch up with Democrats in one key way in Virginia: recruiting nonwhite candidates to run for public office.
In primaries last week for this fall’s legislative elections, Republicans nominated two Asians and one Hispanic, as well as a Jewish immigrant from Belarus. On the Democratic side, meanwhile, two Asian American Democrats ran and fell short in the primaries, as did several women and African American candidates. The Democratic candidates nominated in competitive races Tuesday were entirely white and male.
“For two cycles in a row, we have a field that looks and feels like Northern Virginia,” said Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman who is working to prepare the GOP for the 2016 presidential election. …Read More
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Best regards from Dulles! It’s been a very busy couple of months with lots of changes and news. Let me start by thanking all of you for the privilege of representing you in Richmond for the last four years. Since I announced on April 15th that I will not be seeking a third term I’ve been flooded with emails, calls and messages from constituents –I’m humbled and honored. I still owe few of you a call back or an email back and I promise I will do so soon!
As I mentioned in my April 15th Announcement (http://www.davidramadan.com/delegate-ramadan-will-not-seek-re-election/), I will continue to work hard to represent you right up until the end of my term i.e. until the end of this year. Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any service to you. I will be at Celebrate South Riding this Saturday for most of the day; please come by my tent to say hello, I’d love to see you!
Below are a few updates on issues that might be of interest to you, a summary of my activities in April and May, and a few community announcements. Please read and share with your family members, neighbors and friends! …Read More