There is good news for the diaspora and tourists from the South-East Asian countries including Australia, planning to travel to Punjab during the upcoming fall and winter season. Traveling between Punjab and Australian cities is going to become easier with Malaysia based Malindo Air, now known as Batik air, resuming its non-stop flights between Kuala Lumpur and Amritsar’s Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport from September 9 onwards.
In a press communique, Sameep Singh Gumtala, Global Convener of the FlyAmritsar Initiative and Secretary Overseas Affairs Amritsar Vikas Manch (NGO), informed that owing to a huge demand for travel from Punjab to Malaysia and Australia, Malindo Air will connect Amritsar with Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane in Australia, and tourist destinations including Bali and Bangkok.
Airlines eyeing diaspora in Australia, South-east Asian countries and West Coast in USA
Gumtala said, the resumption of these flights comes after the Singapore based low-cost carrier of Singapore Airlines group Scoot, resumes its flights between Amritsar and Singapore in February 2022 and is presently operating 5-weekly flights. Scoot along with its partner Singapore airline also connects Amritsar with many destinations around the World, including Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth), USA (Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles) and Vancouver in Canada.
As per schedule on its website, Malindo will operate two flights a week on Friday and Sunday in September, 3-weekly in October and increasing to 4-weekly from November. The flight will depart Kuala Lumpur in the evening at 6:15pm arriving Amritsar at 9:40pm. The same aircraft will then take-off at 10:30pm in the evening arriving Kuala Lumpur in the morning at 6:50am. The airline will deploy it’s Boeing 737-8 aircraft on this route.
Gumtala said, “Punjabis will now have more choices traveling to/from Australia and more options to get good short-time transit connections on both Scoot and Malindo. Not only this, Scoot being the low-cost carrier and Malindo as hybrid, both the airlines offer lower fares compared with other airlines flying from Delhi. The long layover on flights from some cities in Australia via Singapore on Scoot is shortened to only 2-3 hours via Kuala Lumpur. Passengers will be able to complete their journey between Amritsar & various cities in Australia in just 16 – 19 hours.”
Boost to International air connectivity of Amritsar
Gumtala further added, “This is a major boost to the international connectivity of Amritsar before the start of peak winter season when large number of diaspora visits Punjab. The upcoming winter season would see resumption and addition of new flights after Covid-19 pandemic and the return of Malindo represents strong confidence of foreign airlines in Amritsar. Amritsar airport not only caters to traffic from Punjab but also to the neighboring States of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and some parts of Haryana.”
We request diaspora to prefer flying to Amritsar so that we can reach out to other airlines with good statistics for start of direct flights. We also contacted the officials of Air Asia X for resumption of its popular Kuala Lumpur – Amritsar flights. With the start of Malindo flights, Amritsar, the biggest airport of Punjab will be directly connected with 8 international destinations including London, Birmingham, Dubai, Sharjah, Doha, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, said Gumtala.