New flights to Malaga, Mallorca and Amritsar from Birmingham Airport
A string of new flights are being launched from Birmingham Airport in the new year, taking passengers to the sunspots of Mallorca and Malaga and to Amritsar in India.
Low-cost airline Primera Air is adding the new routes to Spain alongside its May launch of services to New York and Boston.
Meanwhile Air India, which already operates a hugely popular daily service from Birmingham to Delhi, plans to introduce two flights per week to Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple.
It will make Birmingham the only UK airport to operate non-stop services on this route.
The service has been hailed by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, who said: “One of the most common issues raised when I talk to the Sikh community in our region is that they and their families are unable to fly direct to Amritsar.
“Ever since, we’ve been working with Air India and Birmingham Airport to explore whether we could introduce this direct service for the 135,000 Sikhs living in the West Midlands.
“I am delighted this will start early next year – I know it will be well received news and a well-used service.”
Air India services, which started in August 2013, have so far carried almost half a million passengers from Birmingham to Delhi.
William Pearson, Birmingham Airport's aviation director, said: “It is great news that we will have non-stop connections to two Indian cities. With over 200,000 British-Indian people who travel to India to visit friends and relatives, and for tourism and business interests, this additional destination shows the large demand within the region for non-stop Amritsar services from the Midlands. Air India has been a successful partner for over four years and offers great connections to India with services operated by the new Boeing 787-8 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft.”
Air India director Pankaj Srivastava said the new service recognised consumer demand from the Midlands to Amritsar. "Air India is always very sensitive to the needs of the consumer and is pleased to be connecting the two cities thereby adding a new city pairing for Air India’s expanding global network with the only non-stop UK Amritsar service.”
Birmingham Edgbaston MP Preet Gill added: “I am delighted at this announcement of direct flights to Amritsar. I would like to thank both Birmingham Airport and Air India for bringing these non-stop flight to Amritsar to the region. Sandwell is twinned with Amritsar, and in my capacity as local councillor I campaigned for these non-stop flights. This is wonderful news for the West Midlands, not just for the Punjabi community, but for business too."
Meanwhile one of the airport's newest carriers, Primera Air, is gearing up for a major service launch in May 2018, with daily flights to Mallorca and Malaga on Boeing 737 aircraft alongside its transatlantic services.
The Scandinavian airline's owner and president, Andri Már Ingólfsson, said: “We see a stable and high demand for our transatlantic flights from Birmingham to New York, Boston and Toronto. It has encouraged us to introduce more flights to leisure destinations in Spain that historically has been our core product and service in which we have an extensive experience.
Flights to Mallorca and Malaga will improve the leisure flight schedule for travellers to already beloved destinations."
Birmingham Airport's William Pearson, added: “After announcing new flights to New York, Boston and Toronto from Birmingham Airport in 2018, these new short haul routes to Mallorca and Malaga will give those looking for sun and beach holidays closer to home greater low cost choice from the Midlands’ leading airport.
"It is great to see Primera Air recognising Birmingham as a key strategic airport in its growth plans and we look forward to working with the airline when it launches next year.”