Business and civic leaders in the West Midlands in the UK wants Air India to resume direct flights from Birmingham to Amritsar even as Indian carriers are being increasingly wooed by countries across the world.
West Midlands, with its increasing number of people of Indian origin and increasing trade links have urged Air India to resume direct flights that have been discontinued in October last.
Air India stopped direct flights from Birmingham to Amritsar in October 2008 to focus on its routes to and from Heathrow.
There has been a general rise in demand for Indian carriers across the world, even from places where they were not operating. With increasing business ties with India, these airlines have been in demand in the US, Australia, Europe and China.
India and China being the new growth centres, airports across the globe also have specific reasons for showing interest in airlines from India and China.
Transport is also the prime mover of business and, according to Joe Kelly, chief executive of the Birmingham airport, "It is economically important when you consider that Tata, who bought Jaguar Land Rover, cannot fly direct to Birmingham from India.''
India and the European Union have a bilateral civil aviation agreement and flights between India and the UK too are part of the overall India-EU agreement.
Neena Gill, a member of European Parliament from the West Midlands, even threatened to take up the issue of stoppage of Air India flights to the European Commission. "Only last September the EU and India signed an aviation agreement. I believe this decision contravenes the sentiment of this agreement and intend to take this matter up here with the EC," she said.