• Saturday, August 20, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Preet Kaur Gill and 11 other MPs writes to Air India for more Amritsar flights; read the full letter

The establishment of regular direct flights from Birmingham-Amritsar was a great boon to  tourism and trade links between the UK and India, not to mention its importance to the  Punjabi and Sikh diaspora.

Preet Kaur Gill MP

By: Mohnish Singh

Following a positive response to her initial letter to Birmingham Airport Executives on increasing the number of flights from Birmingham to Amritsar, Preet Kaur Gill MP has written to Air India to demand the number of flights increase from one flight per week to six per week which were flying pre-pandemic.

“It was extremely welcome that a direct flight from Birmingham to Amritsar, the city of the  Golden Temple, the holiest Gurdwara and most important pilgrimage site in the Sikh faith,  was introduced in 2017, and subsequently increased to five and six flights per week the following year. We and our constituents were incredibly grateful for the progress that Air India has facilitated on this issue, she wrote in the letter to Nipun Aggarwal, Chief Commercial Officer, Air India Ltd.

She added, ” However, while it was welcome that the Birmingham-Amritsar direct flight resumed last August as Covid travel restrictions relaxed, we are concerned that the regularity of flights have remained significantly scaled down. Currently, there is only one direct flight per week to  Amritsar, Punjab from Birmingham International Airport, and we are keen to see that this is  increased, as it has from London Heathrow Airport, in the coming months.”

The letter has been signed by 12 West Midlands MPs led by Preet Kaur Gill MP.

HERE’S THE FULL LETTER

We are writing to you as the elected representatives of the large Punjabi and Sikh diaspora communities in the West Midlands about the frequency of flights from Birmingham  International Airport to Sri Guru Ram Das Jee Airport, Amritsar.

As you may have seen in the press, we have recently been in correspondence with the leadership of Birmingham International Airport in the UK, to express our support for plans to increase the number of direct flights to Amritsar on behalf of the sizeable Sikh and Punjabi communities we represent.

It was extremely welcome that a direct flight from Birmingham to Amritsar, the city of the  Golden Temple, the holiest Gurdwara and most important pilgrimage site in the Sikh faith,  was introduced in 2017, and subsequently increased to five and six flights per week the following year. We and our constituents were incredibly grateful for the progress that Air India has facilitated on this issue.

However, while it was welcome that the Birmingham-Amritsar direct flight resumed last August as Covid travel restrictions relaxed, we are concerned that the regularity of flights have remained significantly scaled down. Currently, there is only one direct flight per week to  Amritsar, Punjab from Birmingham International Airport, and we are keen to see that this is increased, as it has from London Heathrow Airport, in the coming months.

The establishment of regular direct flights from Birmingham-Amritsar was a great boon to tourism and trade links between the UK and India, not to mention its importance to the  Punjabi and Sikh diaspora. Therefore, we are writing to you now to express our support for plans to scale up the frequency of direct flights again and encourage Air India and Birmingham  Airport to work together to make this a reality.

We are confident that demand from our community is there and look forward to seeing this important air route restored.

We look forward to your response.

Eastern Eye

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