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More Direct Flights From US, Canada, UK To Amritsar, Mohali

In a related recent development, Canada’s Brampton-North MP, Ruby Sahota, also took up the matter in the Canadian Parliament and sought more flights between various Canadian cities and Amritsar given the daily traffic.

(Air Canada: Image used for representational purpose only)

Chandigarh: Punjab government is in talks with Air Canada, British Airways, Vistara, and (Tata) Air India to commence direct flights from Canada, the UK, and other western countries to Amritsar and Mohali. Speaking at a national conference organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann confirmed that the talks are on and soon there will be some positive outcome.

In a related recent development, Canada’s Brampton-North MP, Ruby Sahota, also took up the matter in the Canadian Parliament and sought more flights between various Canadian cities and Amritsar given the daily traffic. Sources said MP Sahota held a meeting with senior officials of Air Canada in this regard it was stated in a joint statement released by Anantdeep Singh Dhillon, convener North America-Canada of the FlyAmritsar Initiative, Sameep Singh Gumtala (USA), global convener of the same, and Mohit Dhanju, spokesperson, Canada of the FlyAmritsar Initiative.

Apart from the daily traffic of about 10,000 passengers, mostly NRIs but also tourists and businessmen headed to Punjab from the West, are also those who come exclusively to pay obeisance at the Golden temple.

The number of foreigners-cum-NRIs who visit Amritsar especially to pay obeisance at Golden Temple has gone up to 1,000 tourists daily. Sources said, most of these tourists reach Amritsar via India International Airport, Delhi. Other 90 per cent of Punjab-bound tourists also head via Delhi.

To cut the travel time, the Punjab government will begin flights by early 2023 to and fro from Mohali and Amritsar to Vancouver, Toronto, London, Calgary, and Silicon Valley among other cities. Also, a couple of five-star and seven-star hotels would be built around the airport beside the presence of staff of different embassies in Chandigarh and Amritsar itself.

Two-thirds of the Punjab-bound foreign tourists visit just the two cities of Amritsar mainly (Golden Temple, Jalliawallan Bagh, and Durgiana Temple) and Patiala (National Institute of Sports and Moti Bagh Palace, Qila Mubarak).

Early this year, the NRI affairs minister of Punjab Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal met with the minister of state for external affairs V Muralidharan in Delhi and demanded direct flights to the UK, Canada, Australia, and the US. He also emphasised faster processing of visas for Overseas Citizens of India

(OCI) and that there should be no police verification of Overseas Indians and that the verification carried out in the country of the origin of their flights should be considered enough.

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