There is good news for passengers traveling from Punjab to Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. In a joint statement to the press, the Global Convener of FlyAmritsar Initiative Sameep Singh Gumtala and Convener India of the Initiative Yogesh Kamra & Patron of Amritsar Vikas Manch Manmohan Singh said that the Malaysian based low-cost carrier Air Asia X is resuming its direct flights between Kuala Lumpur & Amritsar from September 3 onwards. These flights were suspended due to Covid in March 2020.
The airline will start the service with 4-weekly flights, connecting Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport Amritsar with Australian cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Gold Coast with convenient short layover connections via Kuala Lumpur. This will bring relief to the Punjabi community in Australia and other Southeast Asian countries as it will take much less time and fares as compared to Delhi. Travelers will also be able to avail the flights of Air Asia X via Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, Indonesia, Philippines and other tourist destinations within a short span of time.
It is notable that the FlyAmritsar Initiative and Amritsar Vikas Manch played a leading role in the start of Air Asia X flights from Amritsar in August 2018. For the past year and half, the Initiative has been regularly following up with the senior management of Air Asia X including its CEO Benyamin Ismail and General Manager India of the Air Asia Group Suresh Nair for resumption of these services. We welcome the decision by airline management to resume these flights as a large number of Punjabi diaspora in Australia was traveling on its flights via Kuala Lumpur. This will not only make travel easier for the Punjabi community, but will also greatly benefit the tourism industry of Amritsar, said Gumtala.
According to the bookings available on its website, on Sunday & Monday, the flight will depart Kuala Lumpur in the morning at 7:35am reaching Amritsar at 11:00am and then depart at 12:30pm in the afternoon reaching Kuala Lumpur in the evening at 8:55pm. The other 2 days on Wednesday & Friday, the flight will depart Malaysia late evening at 8:25pm arriving Amritsar at 11:50pm and then depart next day midnight at 1:00am on Thursday & Saturday and reach Malaysia at 9:25am.
The airline will deploy its high density 377-seater Airbus A-330 aircraft with 12 flatbed business class seats. Batik Air, another Malaysia based airline is also operating 4x-weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore airlines low-cost carrier Scoot 5x-weekly flights. Both the airlines also connect passengers to Australia and other countries. With the return of Air Asia, Punjabis will now get more options and with more flights, fares will also come down.
Since 2017 our team has been contacting various airlines around the world with detailed data and statistics. This flight, which began in August 2018, was a direct result of these efforts. Low-cost carriers like Air Asia may not have all the amenities that other airlines have, but their tickets are reduced by a considerable percentage, said Kamra.
Kamra added, passengers have the choice to select and pay as per their service needs. It is most advantageous to budget travelers who can pick and choose luggage weight options, food choice, seat preference etc. as per their budget requirements and not necessarily spend a very high amount for airlines which have all these services included in ticket price at a much higher fare.
Amritsar Vikas Manch Patron Dr. Charanjit Singh Gumtala and Manmohan Singh Brar said that despite the increase in number of flights from Amritsar, the demand to start bus service from the airport to different cities of Punjab is not being fulfilled for a long time. Last year, the State government started bus service from various cities of Punjab to Delhi Airport but despite the departure and arrival of more than 400 international and domestic flights from Amritsar every week, they are not paying attention to this demand. As of now, Amritsar is connected with over 10 major cities across the globe including London, Birmingham, Rome, Milan, Doha, Dubai, Sharjah, Singapore & Kuala Lumpur.