Italian airline Neos will expand frequencies to Amritsar to tap travel demand between Punjab and Canada/Europe. This comes in the back of the recent India- Italy mobility agreement that will facilitate the movement of students and workers to European countries.

The airline began operations between Milan and Amritsar in December 2022. Now, it operates three weekly flights connecting Milan, Rome and Verona to Amritsar.

Air India and ITA Airways also operate flights between India and Italy. However, Neos is also carrying traffic onward to Canada.  A new route was introduced by Neos between Milan and Toronto last April. Nearly 90 per cent of passengers from Amritsar travel onward to Canada via Milan, while Rome and Verona flights cater to point-to-point traffic between India and Italy.

“At the moment, our focus is on expanding our operations to Amritsar. There are no immediate plans for adding new destinations in India. Our strategic approach to India aligns with our approach to other states where we operate. Our focus is to prioritise airports in regions that may not be well connected to Europe. This strategic approach allows us to fill a crucial gap in connectivity,” said Carlo Stradiotti, CEO of Neos.

“As a part of this strategy, we are set to increase frequencies to Amritsar from April, demonstrating our dedication to meeting the growing demand in this important market,” he added. The airline will be inducting four Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and hopes to receive one in the next few days.

Canada is home to a large Punjabi diaspora, and frequent demands have been for a non-stop connection from Amritsar. Pre-pandemic, Air India used to operate Amritsar-Toronto flights via Delhi. In the absence of direct flights, passengers from Punjab travel to Canada via Delhi, Doha or Milan.

Besides catering to Canada-bound traffic, Neos hopes that the recently concluded India-Italy mobility agreement will help traffic growth. Last November, the two countries signed an agreement to facilitate the movement of Indian students and workers to Italy.

“The agreement can further increase traffic flows between the two countries and fits perfectly into our development plan,” Stradiotti said.

He added that Neos is always open to possible collaboration with airlines from other countries as it can benefit everyone.

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