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Posted at: Aug 6, 2015, 12:54 AM; last updated: Aug 6, 2015, 12:45 AM (IST)

Amritsar-Kuala Lumpur flight from Oct

Much needed respite

  • The Amritsar airport has been running in losses
  • Earlier, many international flights were withdrawn due to technical and financial issues
  • The flight will increase airport’s global connectivity

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 5

Malaysia’s Malindo Air will launch its flight between Amritsar and Kuala Lumpur from October. It has come as a relief for Amritsar airport authorities as they had been seeking to increase global connectivity to boost their revenue. The airport has been running in losses.

Airport Director V Venkateshwar Rao said the Airport Authority of India (AAI) accepted the request of the airline to set up a counter and an office in the vicinity of the airport. He said they were yet to get the approval of Director General Civil Aviation. Thereafter, the flight will be incorporated in the winter schedule.

Airport Advisory Committee member Gunbir Singh, said with a fleet of 21 modern aircraft, the airline could provide connectivity for Punjabi travellers living in Southeast Asia.

After the withdrawal of Singapore Airlines many years ago, this airline will provide comfort to travellers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

At present, there are few international flights at the airport. Turkmenistan Airlines flies from Amritsar to Birmingham via Ashagabad, Uzbekistan Airways Amritsar to London via Tashkent, Qatar Airways Amritsar to Middle East via Doha and Air India Express Amritsar to Dubai.

Gunbir Singh said the Amritsar-Kuala Lumpur flight would improve the region’s connectivity. Earlier, many international flights were withdrawn for various reasons such as technical issues and financial losses.

Air India had sprung a surprise by discontinuing its Amritsar-Birmingham-Toronto flight, which was termed by many as one of its most successful flight. The flight that had over 90 per cent occupancy was withdrawn on October 31, 2010. However, it was not the only flight to be discontinued from Amritsar airport.

British Midland International (BMI) had stopped its Amritsar-Almaty-London flight in October, 2012. Prior to it, Air India had suspended its Amritsar-Toronto flight. Singapore Airlines had launched Amritsar-Singapore flight on October 1, 2004. The service ran well for around five years before being discontinued in early 2009. Later, Jet Airways launched its Amritsar-London flight only to withdraw it after sometime.

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