3 Airlines, 2 Destinations & 1 Country: 3 Flights Depart To Italy From Amritsar On A Single Day
By: Ravreet Singh*
Italy has emerged as the second major international destination after UK in Europe from Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport Amritsar. On February 27, once again 3 special flights are scheduled to depart for Italy from the holy city, Amritsar.
Indian full service carrier, Air India will operate its special flight to Rome, also known as the Vatican city, under its Vande Bharat Mission (VBM), while the low cost carriers, IndiGo & SpiceJet, both are operating its special charter flights to Milan Bergamo Airport.
Air India is using its state-of-the-art Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for Amritsar-Rome route while both IndiGo and SpiceJet are using A321 for these special charter flights, with a refueling stop in Istanbul and Kutaisi respectively.
Earlier, on January 8 of this year, three flights also departed from the airport on a single day from Amritsar. IndiGo operated two flights to Milan Bergamo Airport using its 222 seater Airbus A321-neo aircraft with a refueling stop in Istanbul, Turkey, while Spicejet operated one charter flight to Rome with a refueling stop in Tbilisi, Georgia, using its leased 153 seats HiFly airlines Airbus A321 aircraft.
These charter flights started from Amritsar to Milan, Rome and Verona in Italy in August 2020. Since Dec 2020, the number of flights to Italy have been increasing with even two flights departing to or arriving on same day from Italy.
From the information gathered by FlyAmritsar team from FlightRadar24, till date more than 130 special flights have operated so far between Amritsar and Italy. These include almost equal number of departures to Italy from Amritsar and equal number of arrivals at Amritsar.
According to the schedule released by Air India, the airline will operate 3 more direct flights from Amritsar to Rome on March 4, 14 and 24 and returning next day from Rome to Amritsar whereas charter flights by SpiceJet and IndiGo will continue to depart for Italy from Amritsar till the end of March 2021.
While currently due restrictions in Bilateral Air Service Agreement between India & Italy does not allow any Italian carrier to operate scheduled flights to/from Amritsar, Indian airline carriers could really make the full use of the golden opportunity.
The operation of these flights is a big boost for direct international connectivity especially to Italy from the airport. These flights strengthens justification of the demand with airlines.
There is a big population of Punjabis in Italy with thousands of passengers traveling all year long from Italy to Punjab (Amritsar) via Delhi / Doha/ Tashkent / Ashgabat. Direct flights will save time and also give a major boost to the economy of Punjab. Even farmers will benefit from the direct flights in future as they will be able to ship cargo to European markets where they are in high demand.
It will be keen to see if any of these airline carriers plan to start direct regular scheduled flights from Amritsar to Rome and Milan in the near future.
*Ravreet Singh is a young blogger who has a great interest in aviation. His main focus on aviation is connectivity of Amritsar, Punjab with the World. He is the youngest team member of FlyAmritsar Initiative, a public advocacy campaign for more direct flights to/from Amritsar.
Feature Image Courtesy: www.gcmaps.com