Canadians Campaign For Direct India Flight To Punjab – Simple Flying

Existing flights only fly to central and southern India.
An advocacy group called the FlyAmritsar Initiative is calling on Indian and Canadian airlines to establish direct flights from Canada to Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport (ATQ) in the Indian city of Amritsar, citing a large Punjabi-Canadian population and a lack of existing flights to the Indian state of Punjab. The statement follows the recently-signed Open Skies agreement that removed restrictions on the number of flights per week between the two countries.
Located in northwestern India, Amritsar is the largest city in Punjab and home to the Golden Temple, one of the holiest sites in Sikhism. The temple receives over 150,000 visitors per day, making it the most visited place in the world.
However, Canadian travelers looking to visit must currently transit through Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in New Delhi, where they have the option of waiting up to seven hours for a connecting flight or taking an eight to 10-hour road trip. In recent months, Air Canada has even gone so far as to suspend flights between Vancouver and New Delhi, citing the closure of Ukrainian airspace. The FlyAmritsar Initiative considers this unreasonable, given that 1 million Punjabi immigrants in Canada may want to visit Amritsar and nearby cities.
There are currently direct flights from Amritsar to nine international destinations, including Dubai International Airport (DXB) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
The statement by the FlyAmritsar Initiative comes just one month after the signing of a new Open Skies agreement between Canada and India. The agreement permits Canadian airlines to fly unlimited services to New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata; they were previously only allowed 35. It is worth noting that most of these cities are located in central and southern India, and none are located in Punjab. Indian airlines, on the other hand, are permitted to fly to Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, and two more cities at their discretion.
Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and four members of Parliament (MPs) have reached out to Air Canada and the Indian Minister of Civil Aviation about commencing direct flights from Canada to Punjab but to no avail thus far.
The FlyAmristar Initiative's statement comes at a time when it is extremely difficult for the large number of Punjabis living in Canada to travel to their homeland. It also comes at a time when there are no longer any restrictions on the number of flights between India and Canada. Given that there is a clear demand for service on a route between Canada and Punjab, the statement ultimately represents a business opportunity that has the potential to bring whichever airline decides to capitalize on it a great deal of profit, and other airlines that fly between India and Canada would therefore do well to explore the prospect of such a route. If one ends up being established, it might finally give Punjabi-Canadians the travel corridor that the FlyAmritsar Initiative advocates for.
Journalist – A computer science major at UCLA, Nabeel joins the Simple Flying team with a passion for engineering and travel. He is particularly interested in the technical side of aviation. Based in California, United States


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