City welcomes new India airline service


Akal Air to provide direct links to northern India

A DIRECT air link from Birmingham to northern India is to be launched – with a new airline serving, amongst others, the large Punjabi and Sikh populations of the Midlands.

Welcomed by the Birmingham business community, Akal Air, the trading style of Air Sylhet, is soon to be launched from Birmingham International Airport to Amritsar. The first of the twice-weekly flights is planned for April 4.

Daljit Singh Birring, Managing Director of Akal Air, which is backed by investors from the West Midlands and the South East, said: “Birmingham is the perfect base for Akal Air. Access to Amritsar is of huge importance to the large Punjabi and Sikh population of the Midlands taking the pilgrimage to the Golden Temple and visiting family and friends, as well as for business people trading with India’s emerging and developing economy.”

The move comes at a tough time for the airline industry – but the private investors behind Akal Air believe they can exploit a gap in the market by targeting a destination which is currently poorly served by others out of Birmingham International Airport.

Mr Birring said he was confident that there was a large potential market in the Midlands despite the current economic climate.

He said: “We recognise that we are bucking the trend by launching a new service at a time when others struggle, but the difference between our offering compared to others is that we provide a complete service to high and exacting standards, at a rate which is value for money.

“We will provide a quality service with in-flight entertainment system on board and a non-transfer flight for our passengers, giving Akal Air a unique position in the market,” he added.

The new service has been welcomed by the region’s business community.

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said: “Flights to Amritsar are a high priority for Birmingham and the West Midlands. We are delighted that the plans for these links are being reinstated.



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