Demand of Punjabi diaspora for direct flights being raised in the Canadian House of Commons
FlyAmritsar Initiative urges Canadians to sign this Petition with fervor
FlyAmritsar Initiative, a civil society advocacy for connecting Amritsar airport to destinations across the world, has expressed gratitude to Brad Vis Canadian Member of Parliament representing Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon constituency of British Columbia and Shadow Minister for Pacific Economic Development for sponsoring a petition in the Canadian parliament and proactively advocating for direct flights between Vancouver/Toronto to Amritsar in India.
In a joint statement, Anantdeep Singh Dhillon, Convener (North America) and Sameep Singh Gumtala Global Convener of the FlyAmritsar Initiative, have appreciated the recent efforts of Conservative MP Brad Vis for sponsoring the petition to further highlight this long pending demand of Punjabi diaspora for direct flights from Canada to Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar, India.
The House of Commons petition was launched by Mohit Dhanju, a resident of Surrey-British Columbia, and Spokesperson of the FlyAmritsar Initiative. The main demand to the Federal government of Canada is to leverage its ownership share in Air Canada for encouraging the company to explore the realization of direct flights between Vancouver/ Toronto and Amritsar in India, should such a route prove economically viable. The petition has received over 7000 signatures so far in few days.
This petition can be signed by Citizens and residents across Canada, by visiting the website of House of Commons https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-3771
MP Brad Vis in a statement released on his social media channels, said that “Many constituents in my riding and throughout all of B.C. have family ties to Punjab, India. Despite the demand, direct flights between Vancouver and Abbotsford to Amritsar still do not exist. I am proud to support the Fly Amritsar Initiative’s House of Commons e-petition calling on the Government of Canada to explore options to create a direct flight to Amritsar”
FlyAmritsar Initiative expects massive support from Punjabi’s across Canada by actively signing this petition as people are fed up with long travel hassles through Delhi said, Dhanju. He said, House of Commons petition is a great tool for constituents to bring their issues to the notice of the Government of Canada. The petition can be signed by any Canadian Citizen or resident of Canada irrespective of their age. The petition will be tabled in the Canadian Parliament when it is closed for signatures after Feb 11th 2022.
Dhillon said that petition highlights the fact that the Canada has one of the largest number of immigrants from Punjab, India. No airline currently provides direct flight services between Canada and Amritsar. The present travelling options are first flying to Delhi and then further travel to destinations in Punjab either by road, rail or flying into Amritsar with long layover at Delhi, thus adding 25-30 additional hours to an entire trip.
Gumtala further added, that numerous Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and other visa holders travel year-round from across Canada to Punjab for business, pleasure, and family reasons. After complete COVID-19 lockdown in India during late March 2020, it was estimated that over 40,000 Canadian residents were stuck in Punjab. The huge demand for repatriation flights from Amritsar instead of Delhi, made the Canadian Government operate 25 special repatriation flights from Amritsar that brought back more than 7500 Canadians.