Punjabi Diaspora hails decision of Air India
February 15, 2022: The FlyAmritsar Initiative, along with Amritsar Vikas Manch, SEVA Trust UK and the Punjabi Diaspora in United Kingdom and Canada has welcomed the decision of Air India under the TATA group to increase the frequency of its direct Amritsar-London Heathrow flight from 1 to 3 flights per week from March 27th 2022 onwards i.e., the start of summer season in airline travel industry.
In a joint statement to the press, the Global Convener of FlyAmritsar Initiative and Overseas Secretary of Amritsar Vikas Manch Sameep Singh Gumtala (USA) and founder Chairman of SEVA Trust UK Charan Kanwal Singh Sekhon said that amidst the pandemic and suspension of regular international flights, the increase in frequency of this popular route has brought some good news for the Punjabi diaspora in UK.
Gumtala informed that as per the latest update on Air India’s website, Air India flight AI flight 170 will take off from London Heathrow on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and the flight from Amritsar will depart on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The airline operates a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on this route and the booking of these direct flights is available till end of October 2022 (end of summer schedule for airlines). Currently, the flights between India and UK are operating under the air bubble set up by India with many countries.
Air India is also currently operating one-weekly direct Amritsar-Birmingham flight.
We hope that the airline will also increase its frequency as the restrictions on the number of weekly flights allowed under the air bubble agreements to airlines of both countries is increase in the future, said Gumtala.
He further added, “increase in direct flights will help fliers between Punjab and the UK to travel conveniently in just 8-9 hours, evading long hours traveling on connecting flights via Delhi. This will also give a major boost to the economy of Punjab. Even industry and farmers will benefit from more direct flights to UK as they will be able to ship cargo.
Founder Chairman of SEVA Trust UK, Charan Kanwal Singh Sekhon who was recently awarded MBE by HM the Queen of Great Britain for his contributions to the UK communities, said ‘On behalf of our entire team & members of SEVA Trust UK, I welcome this decision by TATA/Air India and convey my sincere thanks to the new management of Air India for their excellent decision.
For the benefit of the entire Punjabi & Indian diaspora in the UK who want to travel direct to Punjab, we have campaigned hard along with Amritsar Vikas Manch and worked with full sincerity for over 5 years.
We raised this issue with the Indian Govt, the Punjab Govt., the UK Govt, Indian High Commission as well as the Civil Aviation Authorities and Air India highlighting this genuine demand for London to Punjab direct flights.
We would thank the Indian Govt, Air India and Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri for th elaunch of direct flights from London Stansted to Punjab in 2019 and now Air India under TATA’s has decided to increase the frequency of these flights from March 2022 onwards.
In his communique Anantdeep Singh Dhillon, Convener (North America) for FlyAmritsar Initiative said “we would like to appeal all travelers who visit Punjab to use these direct flights so that the airline is able to continue these flights on a long-term basis. We will also continue our advocacy campaign to convince more airlines for starting direct flights to Punjab as London acts as a gateway for travel to Punjab and can offer excellent flight connections with Canada, USA and Europe, where Punjabi diaspora lives in very large numbers and there is a big opportunity to make this route a huge success for all, said Dhillon.
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