Birmingham launches petition for flights to Punjab
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 15:21
  
London: Leader of the Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby joined noted singer Apache Indian and other leading figures from the community here to petition the Indian government to resume direct flights from Birmingham to Punjab.

Whitby is expected to lead a delegation from Birmingham to India early next year and to hand over the petition to India's Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel.

The petition calls for a direct flight between Birmingham international airport and Amritsar to be restored due to overwhelming demand from the Indian community in the Midlands, estimated at nearly 5,00,000.

Direct flights between the two cities were historically in place, operated by Air India, and proved very popular.

However they were cancelled in October 2008, not because of a lack of demand, but because the airline took a decision to prioritise filling empty slots at Heathrow.

"With those of Indian origin in the West Midlands running to hundreds of thousands, and many more in the Airport's wider catchment area, there is little doubt that there is a huge demand for flights to be re-instated from Birmingham to the Punjab," Whitby said yesterday.

The potential benefits to be reaped if these flights were resumed would be significant, he said, adding it would be a real demonstration of the natural links that exist among Birmingham, the Midlands and north India.

Bureau Report


First Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 15:21


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