Flights to Indian holy place resume from Birmingham Airport

India’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri has said flights from Birmingham to Amritsar will resume next month.

The tri-weekly Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham Air India flight will resume services on August 15, said Hardeep Singh Puri after Pakistan opened its airspace for civilian planes.

Amritsar is a city in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab, 28 kilometers from the border with Pakistan. At the center of its walled old town, the gilded Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) is the holiest gurdwara (religious complex) of the Sikh religion.

Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister of India and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in India, said that Pakistan had shut its airspace in February after the Balakot strike by the Indian Air Force, resulting in a significant rise of Air India’s operating costs on flights connecting Delhi to Europe and the US.

Following this, the national carrier suspended flights on the Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham route.

“This flight on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will offer easy passage to tourists and pilgrims flying to pay obeisance at the various holy places of Guru Di Nagri,” Puri said in a tweet.

This is not the first time the flights from the two cities have been supsended. The first Air India flight between Birmingham and Amritsar was in 2005, but from 2010 to 2018 the flights were cancelled.

In addition to the Amritsar flights, Wizz Air has announced two new routes from Birmingham Airport to Poland, starting in September.

The first route launching on 16th September is to Poznań, Poland’s fifth largest city, with the second route launching on 17th September to Krakow – the seventh Wizz Air route to operate from Birmingham Airport.

Tom Screen, aviation director at Birmingham Airport, said: “It’s great news that Wizz Air will be operating to Poznań and Krakow – the launch of both routes will mean the airline will operate seven routes in total from Birmingham Airport. Providing our passengers with a range of destinations to connect with family and friends or find their next city break, is important to us and with these additional routes we are able to do just that.

“Wizz Air currently operates to Cluj-Napoca, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, and Wroclaw – adding routes to both Poznań and Krakow in September. The new routes are a fantastic addition and we’re really looking forward to growing our offering with Wizz Air over the next few years here at Birmingham Airport.”

Wizz Air, a Hungarian airline, has been a partner of Birmingham Airport since June 2015 with its inaugural route to Warsaw, quickly followed by Budapest.