Air India, which already operates a hugely popular daily service to Delhi, plans to introduce two non-stop flights per week to Amritsar from Birmingham Airport.
This new route to Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, will be served twice a week direct from Birmingham Airport, the only UK airport to operate non-stop services on this route.
Air India services, which started in August 2013, have been a great success offering passengers the opportunity to travel directly from their local airport to Delhi. The service has carried almost 500,000 passengers in the four years it has operated.
William Pearson, Aviation Director, commented: “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. Air India has been a successful partner for over four years and offers great connections to India with services operated by the new Boeing 787-8 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft.”
Mr Pankaj Srivastava, Director – Commercial and Board Member of Air India said: “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, Punjab. 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.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “One of the most common issues raised when I talk to the Sikh community in our 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.”
Preet Gill, MP commenting on the news said: “I am delighted at today’s announcement of direct flights to Amritsar. I would like to thank both Birmingham Airport and Air India for bringing these non-stop flight to Amritsar to the region. 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.”
The Boeing 787-8 series aircraft has 256 seats in a split cabin, consisting of 18 business class and 238 economy seats.