| Gunbir Singh | Amritsar, Punjab | 10 Oct 2015 | Asia Samachar |
After a long lull, there is action in the skies of the Amritsar. Dwindling international air connectivity has been the bane of concerned citizens as many flights to Singapore, Birmingham, Toronto, Almaty and beyond were discontinued for one reason or the other.
Now, Malindo Air and SpiceJet have spurred new hope for the pilgrims, the hospitality industry and the leisure outbound tourists.
Malindo Air will be flying thrice a week to Kuala Lumpur. It will also provide connections with Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand through its own flights, as well as additional flight options to the entire eastern sector through multiple airlines.
Students and tourists en-route to Australia and New Zealand, travellers to HongKong and China, long-fliers to west coast America, Canada, Japan and Vietnam could find these flights a convenient hop through Malaysia. This augurs well for pilgrim travel to the Holy City, in particular.
SpiceJet provides a second reliable link to the Middle East. The new entrant has already set the cat among the pigeons with predatory pricing attractive to the flier in direct competition to Air India Express.
The fact that Amritsar shall soon have an extended runway with Cat 3B capabilities will make it the only airport north of Delhi for landing with less than 50 meters visibility, and also capacity large enough to land a Boeing 747. This takes away most of the poor visibility winter woes, and introduces scope for large long haul aircraft to touch base here.
The winter of 2015 may just be an opportunity Amritsar has been waiting for albeit impatiently! In fact opening up Amritsar skies is nothing short of a Punjab Moment if not a North Indian silver lining!
Gunbir Singh, president of Dilbir Foundation (ATO- Amritsar Tourism Outreach), runs Amritsar-Based travel agency Divine Destination
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