New Delhi: Punjab NRIs Affairs Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Wednesday demanded to include both the Amritsar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport (Mohali) for direct flights connectivity to Canada, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco (USA) etc underlying that the commencement of these direct flights would ensure great facility to large number of travellers for both sides.
Calling on Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia here, Punjab NRIs Affairs Minister apprised that large number of Punjabis and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card holders had been living in Canada and USA since long. He requested on behalf of the Government of Punjab to include both the Airports of Amritsar and Mohali for direct flights connectivity to airports namely Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco (USA) to redress this long pending demand of the Punjabi Diaspora living in these countries. He apprised the Union Minister that during the NRI Sammelans organised by Punjab Government in December last year the Punjabi NRIs emphasized for commencement of these flights.
The Minister pointed out that there had been a persistent demand for providing direct air connectivity between Amritsar and Canada. Citing that it is of utmost significant to make direct flights operational from Amritsar to Canadian cities, said the Minister adding that presently travelers both from Amritsar and Canadian cities are hugely inconvenienced, as they have to travel to or from New Delhi or other cities in India to reach their destinations.
Emphasizing that there is enough volume of travelers from Amritsar, Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal informed the Union Minister that this volume of travellers could cater to at least five flights in a week of wide bodied aircrafts to Canada. The recent bilateral Air Services agreement between India and Canada includes other Indian cities but has excluded Amritsar in the list of cities for direct flight operations, said the Minister adding that the Amritsar should had also been included in these cities.
On behalf of large number of Punjabi travelers of this region and the State Government, Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal also requested the Union Minister to revisit the agreement by including the city of Amritsar and Mohali for direct flight connectivity. He said that this direct air connectivity would be of great benefit to Punjabis besides addressing long pending issue of the people of the region. Dhaliwal revealed that Scindia assured to consider this demand on priority and to do sincere efforts for solving this issue.