(Calls on aviation companies to consider flight operations)
Chandigarh September 22 : Sri Guru Ramdas Amritsar international airport may witness international flights from Britain as UK Member Parliament Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi is aggressively pitching for ensuring direct contact with UK and Punjab, a crucial demand of the Punjabi diaspora since direct flights to holy city were cancelled years back.
In a statement first turbaned Sikh MP from Europe Tan Dhesi, as called in Britain, informed that he had a detailed meeting on the issue with Ms Tara Naidu, Air India head of Europe operations, in her office at West London along with Slough businessman Tansir Bukhari. During the deliberations he impressed upon her to reinstate direct flights from UK to Amritsar, a holy city of international fame.
Dhesi informed her that the Punjabi diaspora as well as business persons from both sides have been longing for direct air connectivity to their native lands. He suggested to the Air India representative that there are three daily direct flights between Heathrow-Delhi and one of these could be extended to Amritsar so that people from the Northern States could also benefit from direct connectivity with Europe.
Dhesi informed that Tara Naidu had listened to the suggestions intently and assured that she was fully apprised of the aspirations of the community and would forward the proposal to the senior management in India to decide it accordingly. In addition to this he has also held a detailed meeting with Indian High Commissioner in London Y.K Sinha and handed over a letter to him to impress upon the New Delhi government in this regard.
Aiming to get easy connectivity with Punjab and UK, Dhesi had already held series of meetings with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha, Union Minister and Punjab BJP president Vijay Sampla, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and other senior officers on the issue. He said Punjab Government had assured him that adequate leverage and incentives would be provided to the international aviation companies whenever such air connectivity proposals comes to the government.
He further informed that recently he had a meeting with London based aviation firm Virgin Atlantic’s senior manager David Hodges also and presented various facts and figures about the potential of very lucrative air route for global tourist capital Amritsar which being visited by millions each year. He added that Virgin representative had also assured to look into the matter and the company would make a decision in this regard. Dhesi told that to serve the community on both sides he would leave no stone unturned to reintroduce the international connectivity between Britain and Punjab.