Air India to introduce non-stop flights from Birmingham to Amritsar soon | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Air India to introduce non-stop flights from Birmingham to Amritsar soon

The non-stop flight will operate twice a week between Birmingham and Amritsar. The service is expected to start in early 2018.

punjab Updated: Nov 25, 2017 17:22 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
William Pearson (left), aviation director, Birmingham Airport and Pankaj Srivastava, director (Commercial) and board member of Air India.
William Pearson (left), aviation director, Birmingham Airport and Pankaj Srivastava, director (Commercial) and board member of Air India.((Photo credit: Birmingham Airport))

Air India will introduce two non-stop flights per week to Amritsar from Birmingham early next year, catering to demands of a large number of people of Punjab-origin in the city and the west Midlands, official sources said on Friday.

The Birmingham Airport will be the only UK airport to operate non-stop services on the new route. Air India already operates a popular daily service from the city to Delhi since August 2013, carrying nearly 5 lakh passengers so far, a statement from Birmingham Airport said.

William Pearson, aviation director at Birmingham airport, said: “It is great news that we will have non-stop connections to two Indian cities. With over 200,000 British-Indian people who travel to India to visit friends and relatives, and for tourism and business interests, this additional destination shows the large demand within the region for non-stop Amritsar services from the Midlands”.

Pankaj Srivastava, director (Commercial) and board member of Air India, said in Birmingham: “We are delighted that we are able to announce that we are planning to commence non-stop services between Birmingham and Amritsar twice a week, starting early 2018, recognising the consumer demand from the Midlands’ region to Amritsar”.

“Air India is always very sensitive to the needs of the consumer and is pleased to be connecting the two cities thereby adding a new city pairing for Air India’s expanding global network with the only non-stop UK Amritsar service,” he said.

According to Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, one of the most common issues raised during his interaction with the Sikh community in the region is that they and their families are unable to fly direct to Amritsar.

“Ever since, we’ve been working with Air India and Birmingham Airport to explore whether we could introduce this direct service for the 135,000 Sikhs living in the West Midlands. I am delighted this will start early next year – I know it will be well received news and a well-used service,” Street added.

News of the new service has been welcomed in the city and beyond. Labour MP Preet Gill from Birmingham Edgbaston commenting on the news said: “Sandwell is twinned with Amritsar, and in my capacity as local councillor I campaigned for these non-stop flights. This is wonderful news for the West Midlands, not just for the Punjabi community, but for business too.”