Fatehgarh Sahib: NRI Body North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) has urged the Union and state governments seeking resumption of non-stop international Air India flights from Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport to San Francisco, London, Birmingham, Milan, Vancouver, Toronto, besides other destinations.
NAPA Executive director Satnam Singh Chahal in a press release issued here on Friday said that privatising of Delhi International Airport has resulted in the “hub and spoke” policy adopted by the Government of India.
This policy benefits the Delhi Airport and is suicidal to the other international airports in the country, especially Amritsar International Airport. This airport is basically an international airport. It generates a lot more international traffic compared to domestic.
At present, the Punjabi Diaspora is made to take buses, taxis and private cars to cart them from the districts surrounding Amritsar to New Delhi Airport. The road journey is long and arduous. Moreover, the farmers of Amritsar region suffer big losses, because the export of parable cargo from Amritsar has been inhibited due to hub and spoke policy.
NAPA sought to declare ‘Hub and Spoke Policy’ of Air India null and void. Under the facility, international passengers are required to clear immigration and security at the boarding airport, but no check is done at the last point of exit. Chahal regretted that Air India diverted many international flights from Amritsar airport via Delhi to benefit the newly-constructed airport at the Capital, alleged the petitioner.
After privatisation of the Delhi international airport and diversion of flights from Amritsar, footfall of international passengers fell drastically from 80 per cent to 30 per cent at the Amritsar airport. “It shows the great injustice being done with Amritsar airport,” added Chahal.
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