No flights to Nanded, Rome from Amritsar starting Oct 29

Air India has taken the decision to suspend the Amritsar Nanded flight and the Amritsar Rome flights, but the Sikh community and the local residents say they will be inconvenienced
The Amritsar Nanded flight was thrice a week and the Delhi Amritsar Rome connectivity was once a week; the winter schedule of Amritsar airport omits these two important routes. (HT PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATIVE PURPOSES ONLY)
The Amritsar Nanded flight was thrice a week and the Delhi Amritsar Rome connectivity was once a week; the winter schedule of Amritsar airport omits these two important routes. (HT PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATIVE PURPOSES ONLY)
Published on Oct 25, 2021 10:45 PM IST
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Amritsar Air India has suspended operations on two of its major routes from the holy city, the thrice-a-week direct flight to Nanded and the once-a-week Delhi-Amritsar-Rome route, from Amritsar’s Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in its winter schedule that will be in force from October 29, 2021 to March 26, 2022. The bookings of these two flights are not available on the website of the airline.

Airport director VK Seth said, “The booking of Amritsar-Nanded flight is not available in the winter schedule of Air India. I have called up officials of Air India. We will work to ensure that the suspension is cancelled.”

On the Rome flight, he added, “The Amritsar-Rome flight was not a scheduled flight. It was a special flight being operated under the Vande Bharat Mission. Under this mission, we got permission for a limited number of flights. The approved number of flights might have been completed.”

Pilgrims and flyers, however, are upset at the decision of the airline. Global Convener of Fly Amritsar Initiative Sameep Singh Gumtala said he had already drawn the attention of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur to the issue. He added he had requested them to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to ensure the routes remain operational.

Gumtala added, “The Nanded-Amritsar direct flight, which connected the two important Sikh Temporal seats is a popular route. Suspending it is a major setback to the international and domestic connectivity of airport. Air India, just before privatisation, appears to have pulled the plug altogether on the route.”

“Nanded is also an important pilgrimage destination for the Sikh community. With the direct flight, we completed this journey in just two-and-half hours, but the suspension will cause grave inconvenience to the devotees. It has been in operation for over three years and fulfilled a long-standing demand of pilgrims, non-resident Indians and tourists,” he added.

Yogesh Kamra, secretary, Amritsar Vikas Manch (NGO), said. “With the winter season approaching, when thousands of Punjabi NRIs spend winter time in Punjab, the cancellation of this route is very disappointing for them.”

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021