Jet Airways on Friday launched its new international flight linking Amritsar with London, making it the first Indian carrier to provide a direct service between the city of Golden Temple and the United Kingdom.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh flagged off the inaugural flight from the Raja Sansi International Airport in Amritsar in the presence of senior government officials and representatives of travel and tourism sector.
The Chief Minister said that the launching of this direct flight would facilitate connectivity for the people of Punjab.
He hoped that Jet Airways would soon convert this flight into a daily service, which would also help boost tourism.
Capt Singh also expressed happiness that the inaugural flight took off with a full complement of passengers.
Jet Airways Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Preck-Sehauer said with the launch of this new service, Jet Airways has been able to fulfill the state's long standing need of a direct flight to London's Heathrow Airport.
Earlier, the holy priests performed the ardas (prayer) shortly after the Airbus A330-200 aircraft arrived from Delhi. The Chief Minister was taken aboard the aircraft, after he cut the inauguration ribbon.
The thrice a week service is being operated with a brand new leased Airbus A330-200 aircraft on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The aircraft will be equipped with the Less Paper Cockpit (LPC). Jet Airways is the first operator in India to be approved to use this IPC concept.
The direct service to London will be the fourth non-stop flight operated by Jet Airways from India to London's Heathrow.
The airline already operates two daily flights between Mumbai and London and one daily flight between Delhi and London.