CHANTILLY, Va. — Nonstop service has launched between Dulles International Airport and India’s largest airport.

Air India’s inaugural flight from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to Dulles was greeted Friday with water cannons, a traditional gate-side Indian prayer ceremony and dignitaries including Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The thrice-weekly service is the first to directly connect the Washington, D.C.-area to the world’s second largest country.

Virginia and the District of Columbia are providing incentive financing to entice Air India to Dulles.

The route is expected to bring 30,000 travelers and $30 million in annual economic impact to the D.C. region.

Air India said the D.C. region is Air India’s fifth most popular U.S. destination, trailing New York; Newark, New Jersey; Chicago and San Francisco.

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