Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Posted at: Apr 16, 2018, 1:38 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2018, 1:38 AM (IST)

International flights from city get good response

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 15

The air connectivity between Amritsar and South East Asia is set to consolidate with the launch of Air Asia’s Kuala Lumpur-Amritsar flight from August.

Already, Malaysia’s Malindo Air is operating Kuala Lumpur flight and Scoot Airways is connecting the city with Singapore. As per airport officials, such flights in the economical category are generating good response from passengers.

Former airport advisory committee member Gunbir Singh said, “These flights will consolidate the tourist circuit involving the city. It will enable travel for students and visitors between South East Asia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, further connecting to Australia and New Zealand, as well as remote West coast America and Canada.”

Earlier, Singapore Airlines had launched thrice a week flight to Amritsar on October 1, 2004. The service ran well for around five years before being discontinued in early 2009.

A pharmaceutical industrialist, Raman Gupta, said there were tremendous opportunities for business and trade in both regions. Many industries in the state are staring at stagnation over limited markets. Availability of more flights would open travel and business opportunities for both sides.

Airport officials said, “Presently, several international carriers are operating from Amritsar. Uzbekistan Airline, Turkmenistan Airline, Air India Express, Malindo Airline and SpiceJet have direct connectivity to Tashkent, Ashgabat, Dubai, Kualalampur and Dubai, respectively. Almost 100 per cent occupancy is seen on Amritsar-Dubai flights.

In addition, the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is providing infrastructure, equipment and conducive environment for the flights to operate and the decision to choose destinations to fly to rests with the private airlines.

They said the airport had state-of-the-art features, like surveillance radar, surface movement guidance and control system, new instrument landing system, re-carpeting of 3,658 metre long runway which can cater to aircraft operations of Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 767-400 ER, new flight information display system, perishable cargo apparatus among others.

A considerable hike in the footfall of passengers, especially after the commencement of international flights to Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore last year, will curtail the losses of the airport as it had been incurring losses to the tune of even Rs 50 crore for the past many years.


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