Monday, July 06, 2020

FlyAmritsar: Punjabi Diaspora welcomes new flight connecting Toronto with Amritsar

FlyAmritsar Initiative (FAI) welcomed the start of Qatar Airways thrice-weekly flights to Toronto from their hub at Hamad International Airport in Doha on July 4, 2020. In a press release from Canada, FlyAmritsar North America Convenor, Anantdeep Singh Dhillon informed Sikh24 that amidst the lockdown and suspension of international flight by India, there is some good news for the Punjabi diaspora in Canada. “After the resumption of international flights, the launch of this direct flight will provide seamless one-stop connectivity between Amritsar-Toronto via Doha,” he said.

Dhillon said, “Qatar Airways has been operating daily direct flights between Doha & Amritsar providing one-stop short transit connections via Doha to about nine North American destinations including four weekly flights to Montreal, Canada.  The timings of this newly introduced flight between Doha-Toronto also enables a short transit time of about 3 hours 45 min through Doha. A large concentration of Punjabi diaspora lives in and around Toronto and Vancouver in Canada but due to the non-availability of direct flights to these cities from Amritsar, people were forced to travel through Delhi. With the introduction of this new route by Qatar Airways, Amritsar will now have seven-weekly flights to Canada via Doha.”

Every year, thousands of students from Punjab move to Canada for higher studies, while at the same time thousands of immigrants settled in Canada travel back to Punjab every year. Their current options are either flying to Delhi and then board an onward connecting flights or travel by road to Delhi from Punjab. Even with the operation of direct Delhi-Toronto flights by Air India and Air Canada, passengers from the region have been facing a lot of inconvenience of traveling via Delhi that includes time taken for immigration, long layovers and rechecking of their luggage. With Qatar Airways flights now providing seamless connectivity to Montreal and now Toronto, it will become easy for thousands to visit Punjab, said Dhillon.
The Global Convener of FlyAmritsar Initiative, Sameep Singh Gumtala said, “Qatar Airways recently worked closely with the Government of Canada to repatriate around 8000 Canadian citizens from Amritsar Airport alone, which is half of the total number of Canadians safely brought back home from the Middle East and Asia during the recent crisis. The airline operated about 20 chartered evacuation flights from Amritsar to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. It is high time that world’s leading airlines, now knowing the real potential of Amritsar airport for destinations like Toronto, Vancouver and London will consider starting direct flights to Amritsar in near future.”
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