CEO Riqbal `Rockey’ Singh said while the inaugural flight to Barcelona in Spain and Brescia in Italy will take off from Rajasansi International Airport, Amritsar, on September 14 and 15, flights from Chandigarh to London and Bergamo in Italy are set for a October-end launch.
The airline proposes to “Indianise” the flights, which will serve Punjabi food and greet passengers “Punjabi style”, adds Sidhu.
Sidhu, who is here on a personal visit, said that there was a growing demand for a direct flight from Amritsar to Brescia as the Sikh population in Italy had grown considerably in the past three years. “It takes over 18 hours for travellers from parts of Punjab boarding a plane for Italy from Delhi.
From Amritsar, it would take barely eight hours to get anywhere in Europe, saving time and money,” he explains.
The Sidhu family had bought the airline, with its headquarters in the Slovak capital Bratislava, in 2006. They are natives of Nabha in Patiala.
Air Slovakia already operates a weekly flight from Amritsar to Bergamo in Italy besides flying various other international routes.
The airline is in talks for operating flights to Canada from Amritsar and Chandigarh, said Sidhu. “We are in touch with authorities concerned to meet bilateral requirements,” he informed.
A 757 Boeing aircraft seating 145 passengers will undertake the inaugural flight from Amritsar to Brescia and Spain during midnight hours. The flight, with a one-hour layover at Bratislava, will have a eight and nine-hour flying time for Italy and Barcelona, respectively. The airline will operate one flight a week to start with and double the number of flights by early next year.