With the year ‘2020’ being full of certain travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a global slump in the air travel demand. Today in this write-up we will look at the performance of Amritsar-UK route for the year ‘2020’.
According to the data released by UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA), the traffic between UK and Amritsar was the 5th highest in India for the year ‘2020’.
According to the data, about 45,654 passengers travelled directly between UK & Amritsar in the year 2020. Before the complete lockdown was imposed in India, Amritsar was directly connected with London Stansted Airport and Birmingham by Air India. Then during the lockdown in April & May, one-way with London Heathrow by British Airways. In August 2020, the national carrier, Air India along with Birmingham, also after almost 10 years, directly connected Amritsar with London Heathrow under its Vande Bharat Mission.
The direct traffic between UK & Delhi was the highest with about 3,11,410 passengers followed by Mumbai with 2,31,200, Bengaluru with 81,000 passengers, Hyderabad with 47,356 and finally Amritsar with about 45,654 passengers. These figures does not include the indirect traffic.
According to the data, a total of about 18,634 people travelled directly between Amritsar & Birmingham the said year, while 13,513 travelled between Amritsar & London Stansted Airport on Air India’s Amritsar-London Stansted flight, and 13,507 people travelled directly between Amritsar & London Heathrow with Air India (From August 2020) and British Airways (Only ATQ-LHR in April & May 2020).
Last year, when India went into complete lockdown in April and May 2020 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, the ban on all international flights to/from the country left hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals stranded in the country. As a result thousands got stuck in the state of Punjab as well.
It was no doubt that the maximum number of UK and even Canada residents were stuck in Punjab. Eventually Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Amritsar got a golden opportunity for proving its high potential for UK and Canada by handling highest number of repatriation flights to these countries.
Amritsar airport handled a total of 28 repatriation flights for the UK High Commision in India, repatriating 8,271 UK citizens. While in total about 16,500 UK citizens were repatriated from India during April and May 2020.
For Canada also, Amritsar airport handled a total of 25 repatriation flights for the Canadian High Commision in India, repatriating 7,516 Canadian citizens, which was also highest in India during that time. Also Read The $26 Million Tickets Back Home For 7,516 Canadians
There is a huge Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market between UK and Punjab. According to a report by anna.aero, about 106,000 people travelled indirectly between London Heathrow and Amritsar in the year ‘2019’. Last year, we analysed, London Heathrow-Amritsar: The Unserved Route To India With Huge Potential
Currently due to restrictions imposed on international flights in India, Amritsar is not directly connected with any destination in UK. Before these restrictions, Air India was operating 1x weekly direct flights to London Heathrow and Birmingham from Amritsar.