August 13, 2018: Travelling between Punjab and Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth in less than 17 hours is going to be a reality soon. Air Asia X, world’s second largest low-cost carrier from August 16, 2018 will connect Amritsar with Australian cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Gold Coast with convenient connections via Kuala Lumpur. The airline will operate four weekly flights between Amritsar-Kuala Lumpurconnecting Sydney& Melbourne within 2 to 3 hours.
The convener of FlyAmritsar Initiative Sameep Singh Gumtala said that the start of these flights is outcome of the campaign started in 2017 with focused approach toward bringing in more international and domestic flights to Amritsar’s Sri Guru Ram Das Jee (SGRDJ) International Airport. We have been contacting various airlines across that World with detailed presentations including data and traffic statistics. The new flight by Air Asia X is a direct result of these efforts. They were swift and receptive for starting this new connection to Amritsar, said Gumtala.
The new flights will give passengers flying through Malaysia a quicker option than first having to transit through New Delhi. The flight will depart from Amritsar at 11:45pm reaching Kuala Lumpur at 8:05am in the morning and after only two hours passengers will be able to fly to Melbourne and Sydney. The journey can now be completed in less than 17 hours with this expedient connection.
At present, SGRDJ Airport is also connected to Kuala Lumpur by Malindo and Singapore with Scoot, which also connects passengers with Australia. Addition of this flight will provide more easier access to South-east Asia and onwards to Australia and New Zealand, where Punjabis are traveling in large numbers for education, work and leisure.
Anantdeep Singh Dhillon, co-convener of this initiative said that this campaign takes forward the initiative that was started about two decades ago by the Amritsar based NGO Amritsar Vikas Manch in a bid to promote a sustainable development of Amritsar. We are glad that Punjabi diaspora in Australia regions and travelers wishing to fly in directly to Amritsar Airport can now support the initiative for bringing in more airline connections. Travelers will also be able to avail the flights of Air Asia X through Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Bali and other tourist destinations within a short span of time. Earlier this year, a joint UK parliamentary campaign was also launched in UK as part of this initiative by British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi for direct London-Amritsar flights.
Yogesh Kamra, additional secretary Amritsar Vikas Manch said that low fares will also attract lots of travelers who earlier hesitated to travel internationally due to high air fares. Low cost carriers like Air Asia may not have all the amenities that other airlines have, but their tickets are reduced by a considerable percentage. Passengers have the choice to select and pay as per their service needs. He said it is most advantageous to budget travelers who can pick and choose luggage weight options, food choice, seat preference etc. as per their budget requirements and not necessarily spend a very high amount for airlines which have all these services included in ticket price at a much higher fare.
Along with good short-time transit connections, these flights will also connect trading communities of Amritsar region with these destinations. Both perishable and dry cargo up to 15 tons can be ferried on Air Asia X flights which are operated by widebody Airbus A330 long range aircraft. Perishable vegetables and fruits from neighboring states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir can also be facilitated by Amritsar airport and they no longer need to send this produce to Delhi or Mumbai Airports.
We urge Punjabis all over the World to always travel to Amritsar so that more airlines could connect the regions to different parts of the World, said Gumtala. Due to this initiative, we are hoping that more international flights are also being started by the end of this year.