Conservative MPs ask Air Canada for direct Amritsar flights

by The Canadian Parvasi

Canada has one of the largest and fastest-growing Punjabi diaspora communities in the world. Keeping in lieu Punjab’s large contribution to Canada’s immigration and tourism, Canadian MPs are now calling for Air Canada to host direct international flights from Amritsar to Canadian Airports.

Conservative MPs Tim Uppal, Jasraj Singh Hallan, Bradley Vis and Mark Strahl collectively wrote to Canada’s flag carrier airline calling for direct flights from Punjab in a joint letter.

“As Canadian MPs representing vast and diverse communities, we write to highlight the significant economic and social value in establishing direct flights between Canada and the state of Punjab,” read the letter.

“Direct flights between Canada and Amritsar would symbiotically bolster tourism, trade and empower families to stay connected,” it continued.

Despite reports suggesting that Toronto sees around 500,000 travellers from India, a substantial part of whom are Punjabis, there are currently no direct flights between Punjab and Canada.

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This news comes as Canada recently announced an air travel pact with India, which allows airlines to carry out unlimited flights between the two nations. However, the pact only allows for flights to operate from Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai airports.

Jasraj Singh Hallan, who co-signed the letter, took to Twitter to assert the need for direct flights, stating,” So many of my constituents and Canadians have been asking our office for flights like these for years. This will help our seniors, those most in need and parents of small children with access to direct flights.”

“This is a great opportunity for Air Canada to help closen ties between Canada and Punjab, which will, in turn, benefit the Canadian Economy,” he continued in another tweet.

The beginning of the pandemic back in 2020 led to 30,000 Canadians being stranded in India. The Federal Government then had to instate 37 repatriation flights, many of which flew directly from Amritsar’s airport to the Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra is reportedly already in talks with the Indian transport ministry on the matter.

According to a 2021 report, there are currently 950,000 Punjabis in Canada, making up roughly 2.6 per cent of the country’s population.

 

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