Birmingham bigwigs to file petition for direct flights from Punjab

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London, Oct 23 (ANI): Leading figures from within Birmingham's business, government and ethnic communities will join together next week to launch a petition to the Indian government for the re-establishment of direct flights between Birmingham and the Punjab.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, will be joined by internationally famed musician Apache Indian, and other leading figures from within the Indian community to launch the petition on Monday.

Launching the petition alongside Cllr Whitby and Apache Indian, will be Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, Chairman of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, Daljit Singh Sahota, President of the Indian Overseas Congress and Jas Sansi, the petitioner.

More than 60,000 Indians live in Birmingham alone, with hundreds of thousands more living within the catchment area of its airport.

Direct flights between the two city were historically in place and proved very popular, operated by Air India. However they were cancelled in October 2008, not because of a lack of demand, but because the airline took a decision to prioritise filling empty slots at Heathrow.

Last year alone an estimate 88,000 passengers travelled from Birmingham to Amritsar, despite the axing of the direct flight.

The petition, which will be sent to the Airports Authority of India and Indian officials including His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, calls for a direct flight between Birmingham International airport and Punjab's leading airport of Amristar to be restored due to overwhelming demand of among the local community. (ANI)

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