AMRITSAR AIRPORT TIMELINE
The Airstrip of Amritsar Rajasansi Airport was established during the British tenure and this airport was used for VVIP movements. After independence, it got connected with cities like Delhi and Srinagar.
Direct international flights started from Amritsar to Kabul.
Air India started direct international flight from Amritsar to Birmingham (U.K.) with a stop at Moscow and this flight became so popular that it was termed as no.1 flight for Air India, but unfortunately Air India stopped its operation at Amritsar Airport due to 1984 Operation Blue Star.
The old terminal building of Amritsar Airport was inaugurated after renovating it.
With the success of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Airlines, Singapore Airlines started direct Airlines from Singapore providing onward connection to Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco etc. Even a cargo terminal was constructed by AAI in an area of 2256 sq.meter which has 80 tons capacity cold rooms, advance x-ray machine and proposal to upgrade the facilities.
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Airlines started operations from Amritsar to Ashgabat, Tashkent, which got a very good response from Punjabi community as these airlines were providing connections to London, Birmingham, Frankfurt, and Milan from its hub.
Air India started direct international flights from Amritsar to Birmingham with onward journey to Toronto. This flight also became the most successful flight for the national carrier.
With more than a dozen flights operating in the said year the total number of passengers handled by the Airport nearly touched 6 lacs out of which approximately 5 lacs passengers were international passengers. In just four years, the passenger growth at the airport was nearly 3½ times, which made it the fastest growing airport in the country along with good cargo operations, beating Goa and Ahmedabad Airports in terms of international passenger growth.
The departure section of Amritsar Airport was operational. Jet Airways also started its direct flights from Amritsar Airport to London. These two flights along with Singapore Airlines also boosted the Cargo business.
The integrated terminal building with an investment of more than Rs.150 crores equipped with modern facilities like inline x-ray, baggage inspection, conveyor system, flight information display system, Common Use Terminal Equipment and CCTV was inaugurated. The new terminal building is a blend of modern and Indian designs, constructed in glass and steel with Indian style arches and colors. The airport registered a passenger growth of 64.6% during April-December 2009 which made it the fastest growing airport in India. Qatar Airways also started its flights at Amritsar Airport using airbus A320/A321 with a capacity of 179 passengers as four times a week and after four months it switched to daily flight due to very good response. It connects passengers to its 140 destinations in the world from Doha. Data released by AAI every quarter shows that this flight is operating with 90 to 100% passenger load. During peak season, many times the flight is overbooked that proves the potential of having direct international flights from Amritsar and not via Delhi.
Air India discontinued its flights to Toronto via Birmingham due to the fear of losing a slot at London and changed the route from Birmingham to London. Even with the route change, the daily traffic from Amritsar to Toronto remained unaffected thus, showing the high potential of passengers for international flights at Amritsar.
All of a sudden, many international flights from the Airport by govt. run Air India and private run Jet Airways either cancelled their flights or diverted the same via Delhi to benefit the newly constructed private airport at Delhi. Air India also announced a policy that all its international flights will depart only from Delhi and Mumbai Airports and passengers from all over India will be connected via these two airports using hub and spoke policy. Amritsar-London-Toronto flight was one of the busiest routes served by Air India but switching the flights via Delhi, the cargo business of Amritsar Airport was adversely affected. Primarily, the major effect was on the normal passengers who boarded flights from Amritsar because of the connecting flights which took them to Delhi kept them waiting at the Airport for 10-12 hours before boarding the final international flights, which caused great inconvenience for all the passengers and causing great hardship to them. This also resulted in surrendering of the passengers by Indian Carriers to the International Carriers, thus adding to the recurring loss of Indian Airlines of Rs.7200 crores.
After the year 2010, due to the cancellation and diversion of international flights, the Amritsar Airport went into loss that increased up to Rs. 50 crores. The major reason for the loss is that the Airport earns mainly from the parking, landing charges and user development fee of international flights at the Airport. It can be very well judged that if the Amritsar-Birmingham flights are continued then the same alone can reduced the yearly loss of the Airport by more than Rs.10 crores, thus, if more international flights which have been cancelled or diverted are restored and new flights are started then the Amritsar Airport for sure would run in profit.
Although Air India announced re-launching the flights to Birmingham from Amritsar via Delhi, but the demands of Punjabis for starting direct flights from Amritsar were not met with, citing the reason that hub and spoke policy of Air India does not support the same. Many complaints were moved by the patron of Amritsar Vikas Manch Dr. Charanjit Singh Gumtala regarding the starting of direct flights from Amritsar Airport, but to no avail. The Etihad Airlines agreed to fly to six more Indian destination including Amritsar but could not fly to these destinations directly as it is not entitled to do so under the bilateral air service agreements.
Emirates one of the biggest airlines in the World released the study titled “Emirates in India – Assessment of Economic Impact and Regional Briefs”. This study highlights the benefits with an economic impetus to the cities of Amritsar, Pune, Manglore and Trichy and suggest that Emirates expansion to the above mentioned four points would benefit the Indian economy by $106 Million and would also lead to a creation of 13,011 jobs. The Indian Government is not providing them with Amritsar as point of call in the bilateral air service agreements, which would directly benefit the Amritsar Airport.
The present pity state of Amritsar Airport highlighted by various political leaders like Manohar Singh Gill, Former Minister & MP Rajya Sabha, Member Parliament Shwait Malik, MP Rajya Sabha, Gurjeet Singh Aujla, MP Lok Sabha and Navjot Singh Sidhu, who have clearly stated that the Amritsar Airport has suffered a great setback after the privatization of Delhi Airport, which can be very well judged from the factual figures showing the drastic downfall in the international share of Amritsar Airport i.e. from 80% to 30% in the year 2015 due to diversion of flights to Delhi and the same can be verified from the fact that the international traffic at Amritsar has fallen substantially. Further, the substantial percentage of international traffic going from Delhi Airport is from Punjab, which shows the great injustice being done with the Amritsar Airport.
Many cities across Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Gold Coast will now be connected directly to Amritsar. In the coming months, there will be more convenient connections between Amritsar and Australia, with three airlines now likely to directly link this route.
The newest addition to this route will be Air Asia X beginning Amritsar-Kuala Lumpur operations from 16th August 2018*. Read more>>
FlySpiceJet brings another New Year 2019 Gift for the Punjabis. Dehradun becomes 9th domestic and 17th overall Airport to be directly connected with Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport Amritsar… with Direct Non-Stop flights starting Jan 20, 2019.
ਸਪਾਈਸਜੈਟ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਪੰਜਾਬੀਆਂ ਲਈ ਨਵਾਂ ਸਾਲ 2019 ਦਾ ਤੋਹਫ਼ਾ। ਦੇਹਰਾਦੂਨ ਨੋਵਾਂ ਘਰੇਲੂ ਅਤੇ 17ਵਾਂ ਹਵਾਈ ਅੱਡਾ ਬਣਿਆਂ ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਸਿੱਧੇ ਤੌਰ ਤੇ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਜੀ ਅੰਤਰਰਾਸ਼ਟਰੀ ਹਵਾਈ ਅੱਡੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਨਾਲ ਜੋੜਿਆ ਗਿਆ। ਇਹ ਉਡਾਣ ੨੦ ਜਨਵਰੀ ੨੦੧੯ ਤੋਂ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋਏਗੀ ਤੇ ਇਸ ਦੀ ਬੁਕਿੰਗ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਹੈ।