Friday, December 02, 2022

Diaspora

FlyAmritsar Initiative holds meeting with Milan Bergamo Airport officials for scheduled flights to Amritsar

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | October 27, 2022 08:40 AM

AMRITSAR: In an attempt to boost greater international connectivity of Amritsar, Punjab & neighboring states from Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International (SGRDJI) Airport Amritsar, FlyAmritsar Initiative held a meeting with the senior officials of Milan Bergamo Airport in Italy. FlyAmritsar is a civil society global initiative for a focused approach toward bringing in more international and domestic flights to the Airport that takes forward the work started by Amritsar-based NGO Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) in 1990s.
The initiative team comprising of Yogesh Kamra, Convener (India) and Ravreet Singh from India, Global Convener Sameep Singh Gumtala from USA and Spokesperson (North America) Mohit Dhanju from Canada discussed about establishing scheduled connectivity between the two cities with Giacomo Cattaneo, Director of Commercial Aviation, Milan Bergamo Airport.
In a press communique, Yogesh Kamra said issues pertaining to bilateral air service agreements between India and Italy, allowance to operate flight to an airport (point of call), seat allocation per week between airports, inviting airlines to create more commercial awareness were discussed at length during this meeting. Both parties agreed to work closely together to mutually create a seamless people to people connection that has been in demand over last few decades.
As per the data, over 20000 passengers have travelled between Amritsar and Milan Bergamo Airport between January – August, excluding May, 2022. These figures do not include thousands of passengers from Amritsar to Rome and Milan Malpensa Airport. Presently the Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet and Italian carrier Neos are still operating these special flights from Amritsar to Milan and Rome. Air India also operated Vande Bharat direct flights between Amritsar and Rome for about 6 months in 2021.
Director of Commercial Aviation for Milan Bergamo Airport Giacomo Cattaneo presented information about the airport including high population of Punjabi diaspora that resides close to the airport. Cattaneo was very much excited to see the number of direct flights operating to Italy from Punjab, which sometimes was up to 3 daily flights. He expressed a strong desire and lobbying for making Milan – Punjab route, a scheduled permanent route. With majority of Punjabis, business & industrial operations around Bergamo he vouched for having a strong connectivity to Bergamo International Airport from Amritsar.
With scheduled flights, possibilities of having onward connections to rest of Europe, United Kingdon and North America was also discussed as many major airports in Europe now offer “self-transfer” facility. However, in case of Indian passport holders only multiple entry Schengen visa holders are set to benefit from self-transfer facility that allows passengers to book multiple airline connections from intermediate airport, said Kamra.

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